True Crime Entertainment: What’s New This Week

The following content is generally available worldwide, except where otherwise noted. All TV shows listed are for networks and streaming services based in the United States. All movies listed are those released in U.S. cinemas. This schedule is for content and events premiering this week and does not include content that has already been made available.

Monday, July 6 – Sunday, July 12

TV/Streaming Services

All times listed are Eastern Time/Pacific Time, unless otherwise noted.

Showtime’s limited series “Outcry” premieres Episode 2 on Sunday, July 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Monday, July 6

“Betrayed”
“The Body in the Cornfield” (Episode 410)
Monday, July 6, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Your Worst Nightmare”
“No End in Sight” (Episode 601) **Season Premiere**
Monday, July 6, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Tuesday, July 7

“Still a Mystery”
“Killers Among Us?” (Episode 207)
Tuesday, July 7, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“The Murder Tapes”
“Who Shot Buckii?” (Episode 210)
Tuesday, July 7, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story”
“The Shillelagh” (Episode 108)
Tuesday, July 7, 10 p.m., USA

Wednesday, July 8

“See No Evil”
“The Girl on the Bus” (Episode 616)
Wednesday, July 8, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“The Case That Haunts Me”
“Devil in Disguise” (Episode 306)
Wednesday, July 8, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Thursday, July 9

“Snapped: Killer Couples”
“Teresa Lewis and Matthew Shallenberger” (Episode 1404) 
Thursday, July 9, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“Dead Reckoning”
“Hidden in Plain Sight” (Episode 106) **Season Finale**
Thursday, July 9, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“A Time to Kill”
“Murder of the Snowplow King” (Episode 106)
Thursday, July 9, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Friday, July 10

“Dateline: Secrets Uncovered”
“Everything She Knew”
Friday, July 10, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“20/20”
Friday, July 10, 10 p.m., ABC

“Dateline”
Friday, July 10, 10 p.m., NBC

Saturday, July 11

“Accident, Suicide or Murder”
“Dead in the Water” (Episode 210)
Saturday, July 11, 6 p.m., Oxygen

Sunday, July 12

“Snapped”
TBA
Sunday, July 12, 6 p.m., Oxygen

“American Monster”
“My Body” (Episode 507)
Sunday, July 12, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“On the Case With Paula Zahn”
“In the Wind” (Episode 2010)
Sunday, July 12, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark”
“Rat in a Maze” (Episode 103) 
Sunday, July 12, 10 p.m., HBO

“Outcry”
Episode 102 
Sunday, July 12, 10 p.m., Showtime

Movies in Theaters or on Home Video

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, numerous movie theaters in the U.S. are closed until further notice. Some independent movie theaters that are physically closed are showing movies online, as part of a “virtual cinema” program. Any movies listed below are available online as part of a “virtual cinema” program or are available for rent/purchase on other digital platforms.

No new true-crime movie premieres this week.

Radio/Podcasts

 No new true-crime podcast series premieres this week.

Events

Events listed here are not considered endorsements by this website. All ticket buyers with questions or concerns about the event should contact the event promoter or ticket seller directly.

All start times listed are local time.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most in-person events in the U.S. have been cancelled or postponed if the event was expecting at least 50 people in the year 2020.

Movie and TV Reviews

Reviews for New Movies Released June 26 – July 9, 2020

All I Can Say (Photo by Shannon Hoon)
Desperados (Photo by Cate Cameron/Netflix)
Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things (Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Photo by John Wilson/Netflix)
House of Hummingbird (Photo courtesy of Epiphany Films)
Irresistible (Photo by Daniel McFadden/Focus Features)
My Spy (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios)
No Small Matter (Photo courtesy of Abramorama)
The Outpost (Photo courtesy of Screen Media Films)
Run With the Hunted (Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)
Skyman (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)
Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash (Photo courtesy of Cleopatra Entertainment)
The Truth (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

Complete List of Reviews

1BR — horror

2/1 — drama

2 Graves in the Desert — drama

17 Blocks — documentary

37 Seconds — drama

The 420 Movie (2020) — comedy

2040 — documentary

7500 — drama

Aamis — drama

Abe — drama

Advocate — documentary

After Class (formerly titled Safe Spaces) — comedy/drama

After Parkland — documentary

After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News — documentary

AKA Jane Roe — documentary

Algorithm: Bliss — sci-fi/horror

All Day and a Night — drama

All I Can Say — documentary

Almost Love (also titled Sell By) — comedy/drama

Amazing Grace — documentary

American Woman — drama

And Then We Danced — drama

The Apollo — documentary

Artemis Fowl — fantasy

Ask for Jane — drama

The Assistant — drama

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal — documentary

Athlete A — documentary

Babyteeth — drama

Bacurau — drama

Bad Boys for Life — action

Bad Education — drama

Bad Therapy (formerly titled Judy Small) — comedy/drama

Banana Split — comedy

Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art — documentary

Beanpole — drama

Beastie Boys Story — documentary

Becoming — documentary

Behind You — horror

Beneath Us — horror

Big Time Adolescence — comedy/drama

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — action

Blessed Child — documentary

Blood and Money — drama

Blood on Her Name — drama

Bloodshot (2020) — sci-fi/action

Blow the Man Down — drama

Blue Story — drama

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island — horror

Body Cam — horror

The Booksellers — documentary

The Boys (premiere episode) — drama

Brahms: The Boy II — horror

Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists — documentary

Buffaloed — comedy

Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn — documentary

Burden — drama

Burning Cane — drama

The Burnt Orange Heresy — drama

The Call of the Wild (2020) — live-action/animation

Call Your Mother — documentary

Cane River — drama

Capone — drama

Castle in the Ground — drama

Changing the Game — documentary

Circus of Books — documentary

The Clearing (2020) — horror

Clementine — drama

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind: Contact Has Begun — documentary

Clover — drama

Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert — documentary

Coffee & Kareem — comedy

Color Out of Space — sci-fi/horror

Come as You Are (2020)  — comedy

Come to Daddy — horror

The Cordillera of Dreams — documentary

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words — documentary

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution — documentary

Crown Vic — drama

CRSHD — comedy

Da 5 Bloods — drama

Daddy Issues (2020) — comedy

Dads — documentary

Dangerous Lies — drama

A Day in the Life of America — documentary

Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont — documentary

Decade of Fire — documentary

The Deeper You Dig — horror

The Delicacy — documentary

Desolation Center — documentary

Desperados — comedy

Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge — horror

Devil’s Pie – D’Angelo — documentary

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy — documentary

Disappearance at Clifton Hill — drama

Disclosure (2020) — documentary

Diving With Dolphins — documentary

The Dog Doc — documentary

Dolittle — live-action/animation

Dolphin Reef — documentary

Dosed — documentary

Downhill — comedy

Dreamland — drama

Driveways — drama

Elephant (2020) — documentary

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things — documentary

Emma (2020) — comedy/drama

End of Sentence — drama

The Etruscan Smile (also titled Rory’s Way) — drama

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — comedy

Exit Plan — drama

Extraction (2020) — action

A Fall From Grace — drama

First Cow — drama

Flipped (2020) — comedy

For They Know Not What They Do — documentary

Framing John DeLorean — documentary

Ganden: A Joyful Land — documentary

The Gasoline Thieves — drama

Gay Chorus Deep South — documentary

The Gentlemen — action

Get Gone — horror

The Ghost of Peter Sellers — documentary

Goldie — drama

Good Posture — comedy

Greed — comedy/drama

Gretel & Hansel — horror

The Grudge (2020) — horror

The Half of It — comedy

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics — documentary

He Dreams of Giants — documentary

Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation — documentary

The High Note — comedy/drama

Holly Slept Over — comedy

Hooking Up — comedy

Hope Gap — drama

Horse Girl — sci-fi/drama

The Host (2020) — horror

House of Hummingbird — drama

How to Build a Girl — comedy

Human Capital — drama

Human Nature (2020) — documentary

The Hunt — horror

I Am Human — documentary

I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story — drama

I Am Vengeance: Retaliation — action

I Hate the Man in My Basement — drama

I Still Believe — drama

I Want My MTV — documentary

I Will Make You Mine — drama

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me — documentary

Impractical Jokers: The Movie — comedy

In the Footsteps of Elephant — documentary

Incitement — drama

Infamous (2020) — drama

The Infiltrators — docudrama

Initials SG — drama

Inna De Yard: The Soul of Jamaica — documentary

The Invisible Man (2020) — horror

Irresistible (2020) — comedy

It Takes a Lunatic — documentary

Jay Myself — documentary

John Henry — action

Judy & Punch — drama

Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections — documentary

Kill the Monsters — drama

The Kill Team (2019) — drama

The Kindness of Strangers — drama

The King of Staten Island — comedy/drama

The Last Full Measure — drama

Leftover Women — documentary

Les Misérables (2019) — drama

Like a Boss — comedy

Limerence — comedy

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice — documentary

The Lodge — horror

The Longest Wave — documentary

Los Últimos Frikis — documentary

Lost Bayou — drama

Lost Transmissions — drama

Love Wedding Repeat — comedy

The Lovebirds — comedy

Low Tide — drama

Lucky Grandma — action

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over — documentary

Mai Khoi & the Dissidents — documentary

The Main Event (2020) — action

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound— documentary

Martha: A Picture Story — documentary

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words — documentary

Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back — documentary

Military Wives — comedy/drama

The Mindfulness Movement — documentary

Miss Americana — documentary

Most Dangerous Game — action

Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story — documentary

Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story — documentary

My Boyfriend’s Meds — comedy

My Darling Vivian — documentary

My Spy — comedy

Mystify: Michael Hutchence — documentary

Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind — documentary

Never Rarely Sometimes Always — drama

No Small Matter — documentary

Noah Land — drama

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin — documentary

Olympic Dreams — comedy/drama

On the Record — documentary

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band — documentary

Only — sci-fi/drama

Onward — animation

Open — drama

Ordinary Love — drama

The Other Lamb — drama

Other Music — documentary

Otherhood — comedy

Our Time Machine — documentary

Out of Blue — drama

The Outpost — drama

The Painter and the Thief — documentary

Parkland Rising — documentary

A Patient Man — drama

The Photograph — drama

Picture Character — documentary

The Place of No Words — drama

Plucked — documentary

Plus One (2019) — comedy

The Pollinators — documentary

Premature (2020) — drama

The Price of Desire — drama

Public Enemy Number One — documentary

The Quiet One — documentary

Raising Buchanan — comedy

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project — documentary

A Regular Woman — drama

The Rescue List — documentary

Resistance — drama

Rewind — documentary

The Rhythm Section — action

Ride Like a Girl — drama

Robert the Bruce — drama

Run With the Hunted — drama

Runner — documentary

Saint Frances — comedy/drama

The Scheme — documentary

Scheme Birds — documentary

Scoob! — animation

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street — documentary

Screened Out — documentary

Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth (formerly titled Seahorse) — documentary

Seberg — drama

A Secret Love — documentary

See Know Evil — documentary

See You Yesterday — sci-fi/drama

Selah and the Spades — drama

Sergio (2020) — drama

Shadows of Freedom — documentary

Shirley — drama

The Short History of the Long Road — drama

The Show’s the Thing: The Legendary Promoters of Rock — documentary

A Simple Wedding — comedy

Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons — documentary

Skyman — sci-fi/drama

Slay the Dragon — documentary

Sometimes Always Never — comedy/drama

The Sonata — horror

Sonic the Hedgehog — live-action/animation

Sorry We Missed You — drama

Spaceship Earth — documentary

Spelling the Dream (formerly titled Breaking the Bee) — documentary

Standing Up, Falling Down — comedy/drama

Stevenson Lost & Found — documentary

The Story of Soaps — documentary

The Stranger (Quibi original) — drama

Stray Dolls — drama

Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash — drama

Sublime — documentary

The Surrogate — drama

Survive — drama

Swallow — drama

Tape — drama

A Taste of Sky — documentary

The Thing About Harry  — comedy

This Is Personal — documentary

This Is Stand-Up — documentary

A Thread of Deceit: The Hart Family Tragedy — documentary

The Times of Bill Cunningham — documentary

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made  — comedy

To Kid or Not to Kid — documentary

Tommaso — drama

The Trip to Greece — comedy

Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts — documentary

Trolls World Tour — animation

Troop Zero — comedy

The Truth — drama

The Turning (2020) — horror

Tyson — documentary

Unbelievable (premiere episode) — drama

Uncaged (also titled Prey) – horror

Uncorked — drama

Underwater — sci-fi/horror

Up From the Streets: New Orleans: The City of Music — documentary

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own — documentary

Valley Girl (2020) — musical

The Vast of Night — sci-fi/drama

Vas-y Coupe! — documentary

Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations — documentary

Vivarium — sci-fi/drama

Watson — documentary

The Way Back (2020) — drama

Weathering With You — animation

What Will Become of Us — documentary

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali — documentary

When the Streetlights Go On — drama

The Whistlers — drama

A White, White Day — drama

Wig — documentary

The Windermere Children — drama

The Wolf House — animation

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem — documentary

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation — documentary

The Wretched — horror

The Wrong Missy — comedy

XY Chelsea — documentary

You Don’t Nomi — documentary

You Go to My Head — drama

You Should Have Left — horror

Zombi Child — horror

Review: ‘The Outpost,’ starring Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones and Orlando Bloom

July 3, 2020

by Carla Hay

Caleb Landry Jones (second from right) and Scott Eastwood (far right) in “The Outpost” (Photo courtesy of Screen Media Films)

“The Outpost”

Directed by Rod Lurie

Culture Representation: Based on real events and taking place in northern Afghanistan in 2009, the war drama “The Outpost” features a racially diverse (white, African American, Asian, Latino and one Native American) and almost-all male cast portraying members of the U.S. Army, Afghanistan natives and Pakistani Taliban fighters.

Culture Clash: During the war in Afghanistan, a group of U.S. Army soldiers stationed at a remote outpost come under attack by Taliban terrorists.

Culture Audience: “The Outpost” will appeal to primarily to people who like war movies that realistically portray the terrifying battles and deep emotional toll that war can take on people who fight on the front lines.

Orlando Bloom in “The Outpost” (Photo by Simon  Varsano/Screen Media Films)

Based on a true story, the effective drama “The Outpost” recreates the Afghanistan War’s Battle of Kamdesh (also known as the Battle of Outpost Keating) that took place on October 3, 2009, in such brutal and realistic detail, that some viewers watching it might feel as if they’ve gone through an emotional war zone just by seeing this movie. The battle doesn’t take place until halfway through this 123-minute movie. But by then, viewers get a sense of what life in the outpost was like for those involved before some of their lives were tragically lost.

Capably directed by Rod Lurie, “The Outpost” begins with this on-screen text to give viewers a historical view of the story in the movie: “In 2006, the U.S. Army established a series of outposts in northern Afghanistan to promote counterinsurgency. The intent was to connect with the locals and to stop the flow of weapons and Taliban fighters from Pakistan.”

One of those outposts was PRT Kamdesh, a relatively small station that was located at the bottom of a valley surrounded by the Hindu Kush Mountains. The location was remote and an easy “sitting duck” target if attackers wanted to use the mountain range as the perfect position to fire guns and bombs down below. And that’s exactly what happened when about 400 Taliban fighters ambushed the approximately 54 U.S. Army men who were stationed at the outpost.

Before that happened, the movie shows the different personalities of several of the Army men at the outpost, as well as the culture that the Army was trying to establish while these U.S. military personnel were living among Afghan civilians. There are multiple scenes of the captain of the team trying to keep the peace with an increasingly frustrated and suspicious group of locals, led by Afghan elders, who are slightly appeased when they are offered money by the U.S. military to help build schools in the area.

Paranoia and tensions run high at the outpost and the nearby communities. The U.S. soldiers capture a young Afghan man taking photos of the outpost, and they temporarily hold him for questioning. The local Afghan people consider it to be a kidnapping.

And although U.S. military men at the outpost have Afghan men helping with translating and acting as lookouts, many of the locals start to feel disrespected by the American soldiers. Some of the soldiers are arrogantly skeptical of a local Afghan man who keeps warning them that Taliban fighters will soon come to attack the outpost.

Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson adapted the movie’s screenplay from the nonfiction book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,” which was written by CNN anchor Jake Tapper. (Tapper is also one of the executive producers of “The Outpost” movie. The end of the movie also includes clips of CNN interviews that Tapper did with some of the surviving soldiers.)

There are numerous military men in the story, but some are written as more distinct than others. Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha (played by Scott Eastwood) is the quintessential “good guy” soldier who, for the most part, gets along with everyone. Staff Sergeant Ty Carter (played by Caleb Landry Jones) is the group’s misfit loner.

First Lieutenant Benjamin Keating (played by Orlando Bloom) is the no-nonsense leader of the outpost. He expresses his intentions by telling his team, “We need to keep a good relationship with the locals. Respect keeps us safe.”

Another example of Keating’s leadership skills shows that he can be tough but merciful. In one scene, Keating admonishes a young soldier named Ed Faulkner (played by Will Attenborough) for smoking too much hashish.  Faulkner denies that he’s addicted to hashish, but Keating disagrees. Rather than docking Faulkner’s salary (because Keating says that money eventually doesn’t mean much to soldiers at war), Keating demotes Faulkner to the ranking of private, and tells Faulkner that this is his last chance to clean up his act.

As with any large group of people who work together, there is camaraderie and there is conflict. During the good times, the men party together and share stories of their loved ones at home. Tension-filled arguments sometimes turn into physical fights, such as when hotheaded Staff Sergeant Justin T. Gallegos (played by Jacob Scipio) angrily kicks and pushes down Private First Class Zorias Yunger (played by Alfie Stewart) for shooting bullets too close to Gallegos’ head.

And sometimes the cruelty to each other is emotional, such as when Carter is ridiculed and disrespected by some of his fellow soldiers for being a little bit of an oddball. (Carter’s eccentric ways include wearing shorts during combat.) Stephan Mace (played by Chris Born) is one of the soldiers who gives Carter a hard time.

A lot of things happen in “The Outpost” can’t be described in detail because it’s spoiler information for people who don’t know the whole story. However, it should come as no surprise that several of the men don’t make it out alive. The Taliban attack is portrayed in horrifying detail, but even among the terror, there’s a lot of inspiring bravery.

As the “misfit” Carter, Jones is the clear standout actor in the movie, particularly in the second half of the film. The dialogue in “The Outpost” isn’t very memorable, but some of the scenes were obviously written as an admirable effort to show these military men as individuals, instead of blending them all together as a generic group.

For example, there’s a sequence that shows all of the men calling home, and viewers see snippets of each and every one of their conversations. It’s a great way of showing their individuality and to give a glimpse into their personal lives. And there are small touches of humor in this serious movie, such as when a soldier holds a photo of a special female and tells another soldier that when he gets home, he can’t wait to hold and kiss her—and then it’s revealed that the female in the photo is the soldier’s dog.

Lorenzo Senatore’s immersive cinematography for “The Outpost” also makes it one of the best war movies released in 2020. In addition, the film makes a bold statement at the end by not doing the war-movie cliché conclusion of showing people being awarded medals, but instead by showing how one of the surviving heroes is wracked with survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many people skip watching the end credits of a movie, but it’s worth sticking around for all of the end credits for “The Outpost.” And for viewers who get teary-eyed during realistic war movies, it might help to have some tissues nearby.

Screen Media Films released “The Outpost” in select U.S. cinemas, on digital and on VOD on July 3, 2020.

Review: ‘Desperados,’ starring Nasim Pedrad, Lamorne Morris, Anna Camp, Sarah Burns, Robbie Amell and Heather Graham

July 3, 2020

by Carla Hay

Sarah Burns, Nasim Pedrad and Anna Camp in “Desperados” (Photo by Cate Cameron/Netflix)

“Desperados”

Directed by LP

Culture Representation: Taking place in Los Angeles and Mexico, the romantic comedy “Desperados” features a racially diverse cast (white, African American, Latino) representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash: A desperate-to-married woman is convinced her new boyfriend will break up with her after sending him a hateful email over a misunderstanding, so she enlists two of her female friends to go with her to Mexico, where he’s on vacation, in order to delete the email before he sees it.

Culture Audience: “Desperados” will appeal primarily to people who like predictable and often unrealistic romantic comedies.

Nasim Pedrad and Lamorne Morris  in “Desperados” (Photo by Cate Cameron/Netflix)

As long as the messy and very fake reality TV franchise “The Bachelor” continues to attract millions of viewers, there will always be a big-enough audience for messy and very fake romantic comedies like “Desperados.” This movie is as formulaic and predictable as you might expect. But worst of all, “Desperados” wants to pretend that it’s feminist and edgy, when it’s really not. “Desperados”—directed by LP (the work alias for Lauren Palmigiano) and written by Ellen Rapaport—might have all the appearances of a contemporary film. But at its core, the film’s message about how women should act and how women should be rewarded when looking for love is as old-fashioned as a Doris Day movie.

In “Desperados,” the central character is Wesley “Wes” Darya (played by Nasim Pedrad), a divorced, childless woman in her late 30s who’s living in Los Angeles and experiencing an early mid-life crisis. After ditching a career in corporate finance, Wes has decided to become a high-school guidance counselor. She’s been struggling to find a job (mostly because she ruins her interviews by being a vulgar motormouth), and she’s having a hard time paying her bills. Things have gotten so bad for Wes that when she gets an occasional babysitting job from a friend, she steals food from the family’s refrigerator.

Wes’ love life isn’t going so well either, since she isn’t seeing anyone special, and her recent dates have been duds. Wes also has a serious case of social-media envy, since she’s obsessed with comparing her life to the seemingly wonderful lives of her friends and other peers. Wes is also starting to feel her biological clock ticking, since she’s contemplating freezing her eggs when she has the money to do that procedure.

Wes’ two best friends—Brooke Barnes (played by Anna Camp) and Kaylie Mills (played by Sarah Burns)—are the same age as Wes. Brooke and her husband have a baby son together. Kaylie and her husband have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive a child. Wes envies Brooke and Kaylie, just because they’re married and don’t seem to have any money problems.

One day, while Wes and Kaylie are over at Brooke’s place, Wes begins complaining about her life. They advise her that it’s not healthy to compare her life to other people’s lives on social media, because people always hide their problems. Brooke tells Wes that marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, while Kaylie says that infertility can put a big strain on a relationship where two people desperately want to have a child. But Wes doesn’t want to hear about how her two best friends feel about their marriages, because in Wes’ mind, she’s gotten the rawest deal out of the three of them, because she has no man, no job and no children.

Something that sets Wes over the edge while she wallows in self-pity is getting a voicemail message from her ex-husband Erik, who tells her he’s gotten engaged. And by the way, as Erik says in his message, he and his fiancée are featured in a romantic photo spread in the latest issue of Brides magazine. Of course, Wes rushes to a magazine stand to look at the article, and her jealousy goes into overdrive when she finds out that Erik’s fiancée is younger, prettier and more accomplished than Wes is.

Wes is even more desperate to find a new man, now that she knows her ex-husband is getting married. Wes goes on a blind date that was set up by a mutual friend. The friend (whose name is Tad and who’s never seen in the movie) has set Wes up with a widower named Sean McGuire (played by Lamorne Morris), who texts and calls her in a friendly conversation before the date. (Jason Mitchell was originally cast in the Sean McGuire role, before he was fired in 2019 over a #MeToo scandal on the Showtime series “The Chi,” and he lost other jobs as a result.) Sean and Wes agree that if their blind date goes badly for either of them, they should use the code word “no” to end the date right there, with no hard feelings.

Wes’ date with Sean at a casual restaurant starts off pretty well—until she starts blabbering about how all of her friends have great jobs and great relationships and that her ex-husband is getting married. At this point in her life, Wes is old enough to know that sounding like a whiny and jealous shrew is not the way to make a good impression on a first date. But she’s so self-absorbed that she doesn’t realize that she’s turning off Sean, until he tells her the code word “no.”

At first, Wes doesn’t understand that Sean wants to end the date. But when she finally realizes that he’s done with the date and wants to leave, she rips into him about how hard her life is and how hard it is to find a good man in Los Angeles. Okay, well that rant is just going to confirm that he made the right decision to end the date. Sean is a gentleman, and he lets Wes leave in a huff.

As an angry Wes storms out of the restaurant, she trips on one of the steps and falls flat on her face. And lo and behold, she’s helped up by a handsome stranger named Jared Sterling (played by Robbie Amell), who invites her over to his place that night. And when Wes gets a look at Jared’s home, it’s obvious that Jared is doing very well financially.

Wes is flustered, partly because Jared seems like her dream man, but also because her fall outside the restaurant has left her a little dazed. She half-jokingly tells Jared that her brain might not be working correctly because of the fall. And he responds by telling that it’s okay, because he doesn’t want her to think too hard—as in, he doesn’t want her to be too smart for him. This demeaning comment would be a red flag to any self-respecting person, but Wes is too dazzled by Jared’s good looks and apparent wealth to notice that he wants a dumb, submissive girlfriend who’ll go along with whatever he wants.

Wes makes the same mistake that many women do in banal romantic comedies like this one: She pretends to be someone she’s not in order to “get the guy.” Wes pretends to like the same things that Jared does, which is shown in a montage that’s kind of cringeworthy and not very funny. Wes and Jared eventually become lovers, and the first time they have sex together, she’s already imagining them married with children.

Shortly after they’ve started sleeping together, Jared suddenly “ghosts” Wes. And, of course, after she calls and texts and still doesn’t hear from Jared, she assumes that this is his way of breaking up with her. Once again, Wes goes on a “poor me” diatribe about her love life when she’s hanging out with Brooke and Kaylie. In a drunken rage, Wes decides to send a hateful email to Jared from her laptop, by calling him all kinds of names and even mentioning his dead father as a way to hurt Jared. Brooke and Kaylie get caught up in it too, and they help Wes write some other things in the hate mail.

Wes has been stealing Wi-Fi service from a neighbor, so sending the email takes longer than expected. While Brooke and Kaylie oversee the laptop to send the email, Wes gets a phone call and takes the call in another room. The caller is Wes, and it turns out he’s been in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where he got into a terrible car accident and was in a coma for several days.

When she realizes that this is the reason why she didn’t hear from Jared, Wes frantically tries to stop Brooke and Kaylie from sending the email before it’s too late. But, of course, it is too late. The email was already sent.

Wes is terrified that Jared will read the email and break up with her. She rejects the idea of sending a follow-up apology email, because she doesn’t want Jared  to get any hint that she’s a psycho you-know-what. And so, because Jared mentioned that because of the car accident, all of his belongings (including his phone) are still at his hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Wes comes up with the extremely dumb idea of going to Mexico to find Jared’s cell phone, hack into it, and delete the email before he sees it.

Brooke, who is the most cautious and level-headed of the three friends, thinks it’s a bad idea. Kaylie, who’s the type of friend who believes that a Mexican shaman can help her become fertile, thinks it’s a great idea. Ultimately, Brooke is convinced to go on the trip because she thinks it’s good excuse to go on a vacation to Mexico.

And so, off the three friends go with no real plan to find and hack into Jared’s phone, except for Wes’ vague notion that they can walk around the resort where he’s staying and keep calling his phone, in the hope that they’ll hear his ringtone somewhere in this big resort. Never mind that they have no idea what room he’s staying at in the resort. (Hotels don’t give out that information for privacy reasons.)

You know exactly how this movie is going to end as soon as (surprise, surprise) Wes sees that Sean is staying at the exact same resort too. In between the inevitable, there are some repetitive pedophilia jokes involving an adolescent boy named Nolan Ryan Phillippe (played by Toby Grey), who’s about 12 or 13 years old, and staying with his protective mother Debbie (played by Jessica Chaffin) at the resort. Nolan develops a crush on Wes, who (through a series of slapstick circumstances to get to Jared’s room) ends up in the same room as Nolan wearing nothing but a towel, and Debbie catches Wes with her precious little boy.

It doesn’t help that Debbie’s horrified first impression of Wes was when Wes arrived at the resort, and Wes’ vibrator accidentally dropped out of her purse in front of Nolan. Of course, Nolan picked up the vibrator and asked his mother what kind of toy it is. This type of vibrator joke has been done before in so many other movies (such as in 2019’s “Good Boys”) that it’s an example of how unoriginal and uninspired “Desperados” is in when it comes to sight gags.

Heather Graham has a small role in the movie as Angel de la Paz, the “healer” whom Kaylie has hired to give her guidance about her fertility issues. The way this scene ends is very predictable, considering that Angel makes it obvious with her touchy-feely ways that she’s more interested in spending time with Brooke than she is with Kaylie. And the resort’s native Mexican workers Ramon (played by Rodrigo Franco) and Quintano (played by Izzy Diaz) are vaguely written characters that are treated as gullible idiots by the self-centered Wes when she needs to con or trick them into doing something for her.

Although Pedrad is a charismatic comedian in other projects, she’s saddled with playing a loathsome, less-than-smart character in “Desperados.” The uninspired and derivative screenwriting is difficult to overcome for any actors looking to do something unique with their roles in this movie. Morris’ Sean character is literally the straight man to Wes’ insufferable antics, and he doesn’t have much to do, except to play the “good guy,” who’s a lot more patient with Wes than he should be. (Pedrad and Morris played love interests in the sitcom “New Girl,” so at least they look comfortable working together.) The rest of the cast members are serviceable in their roles, with no particular standouts.

The main character in a romantic comedy doesn’t have to be “likable,” but audiences should expect the character to be believable. The reason why Wes (and most of this movie) is a big emotional fraud is because she tries to act like she’s an independent woman who can think and do things for herself, when the whole story revolves around her thinking that her life will be “ruined,” based on one angry email that she wrote to a boyfriend. This is how teenagers feel, not emotionally mature women in their 30s.

In fact, almost everything that Wes does is based on what she wants other people to think about her, not what will actually make her happy. Later in the film, Sean does a big favor for Wes that causes a significant change in her life, but she couldn’t even accomplish that change on her own. The essential message of “Desperados” is that Wes needs a man to “rescue” her. It’s a very outdated mindset for a movie that tries to pass itself off as “modern” or “feminist.”

“Desperados” throws in a lot of cursing and raunchy humor to make it look like it isn’t mawkish and sentimental. But in the end, this often-dull movie is just as sappy and unrealistic as the trite romantic comedies that are on the Hallmark Channel.

Netflix premiered “Desperados” on July 3, 2020

Review: ‘The Truth,’ starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke

July 3, 2020

by Carla Hay

Alain Libolt, Juliette Binoche, Christian Crahay, Catherine Deneuve, Ethan Hawke and Clémentine Grenier in “The Truth” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

“The Truth”

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda

French with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in Paris, the dramatic film “The Truth” features a nearly all-white cast (with some Asians briefly shown as extras) representing the upper-class/wealthy and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A screenwriter has a troubled relationship with her famous actress mother and confronts some of these issues while visiting her mother in Paris.

Culture Audience: “The Truth” will appeal primarily to people who like emotionally realistic arthouse cinema.

Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche in “The Truth” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

When filmmakers do a story about a vain and spoiled famous actress who has a difficult love/hate relationship with a daughter living in her shadow, the results are usually comedy (such as 1990’s “Postcards From the Edge) or camp (such as 1981’s “Mommie Dearest”). “The Truth” is neither. Instead, this well-acted, well-written movie is a drama that authentically shows the dynamics and tensions of a family affected by fame, career ambitions and public image.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”) wrote and directed “The Truth,” which is his first movie filmed outside of Japan. The story is essentially an emotional tug of war between legendary actress Fabienne Dangeville (played by Catherine Deneuve) and her screenwriter daughter Lumir (played by Juliette Binoche), as they come to terms with their relationship and how it was affected by Fabienne’s actress rival Sarah Mondavan, who died 40 years earlier.

Lumir lives in New York City with her American actor husband Hank (played by Ethan Hawke) and their daughter Charlotte (Clémentine Grenier), who’s about 7 or 8 years old. All three of them go to Paris to visit with Fabienne, who has recently released her memoir, which is called “The Truth.” In addition to promoting the book, Fabienne is busy filming a new movie.

Lumir has ostensibly come to Paris to celebrate the release of the book, which is a bestseller in France, but it’s clear that Lumir is also there to possibly finished some unsettled business with her mother. One of the first things that Lumir does when she sees her mother again is confront Fabienne about not sending her the book’s manuscript before it was published.

Lumir reminds Fabienne that Fabienne had promised that Lumir would be the first person to read the manuscript. However, Fabienne insists that she did sent the manuscript to Lumir, and Fabienne claims to have no idea why Lumir never received it.

And it seems as if Fabienne has a version of the truth that contrasts with her daughter’s. In the memoir, Fabienne talks about picking up Lumir from school when Lumir was a child. However, Lumir says her mother never did any such thing because Fabienne was always too busy. “My memories, my book,” Fabienne responds dismissively.

During the course of the movie, it becomes clear that a lot of this mother-daughter tension has to do with unresolved issues that both women have over Sarah, who is never seen in this movie. At one time, Sarah’s and Fabienne’s acting careers were thriving and were approximately on the same level. But Fabienne ended up getting major fame and accolades that eclipsed Sarah, who died in a drowning that was officially ruled an accident.

Lumir has a lot of resentment toward her mother over Sarah’s death because while Fabienne was caught up in her career, she often neglected Lumir as a child, while Sarah was a devoted mother figure to Lumir. Meanwhile, Fabienne and Sarah had been competing for the same role in a movie, and the role was presumed to be going to Sarah.

However, Fabienne (by her own admission) slept with the director and got the role instead. Fabienne won a César Award (the French equivalent of an Oscar) for the role, and her relationship with Sarah was never the same again. It’s implied, but not stated outright, that Sarah’s death might have been a suicide, not an accident, because she was devastated by Fabienne’s betrayal. Lumir is also upset with Fabienne because Fabienne never even mentioned Sarah in Fabienne’s memoir.

The movie that Fabienne is working on during Lumir’s visit is a sci-fi drama called “Memories of My Mother.” In the film, a terminally ill woman goes to outer space to try and extend her life, and she leaves her teenage daughter behind on Earth.  When the woman comes back to Earth after seven years of being away, she has barely aged, while she finds out that her teenage daughter is now an old woman. Fabienne plays the old woman, while an up-and-coming actress named Manon (played by Manon Clavel) has the role of the mother who’s barely aged.

Fabienne’s long-suffering personal assistant/butler Luc (Alain Libolt) tells Lumir that the main reason why Fabienne wanted to do the movie is because Manon has the starring role and because the media and public have been constantly comparing Manon to Sarah. Not only has Manon been dubbed the “second coming of Sarah Mondavan,” but her speaking voice sounds remarkably like Sarah’s.

Luc invites Lumir and her family to Epinay Studios, where the movie is being filmed. Lumir can’t help but be intrigued, so she readily accepts the invitation. The “movie within a movie” concept is masterfully delivered here to show how life can imitate art and art can imitate life. (Fabienne’s fear of aging and Fabienne being distant for years from her daughter are obvious parallels to the story in “Memories of My Mother.”) While watching her mother on this film set, Lumir observes firsthand how much Fabienne is still set in her ways and is using the movie to work out some issues that Fabienne had with Sarah.

Fabienne is every inch the self-centered diva, but she also has a very charming side that draws people to her and keeps people fascinated by her. It’s one of the reasons why Luc has been working for her for more than 40 years, but even his steadfast loyalty is tested during the course of the movie. Luc knows the history of how Fabienne and Lumir’s relationship was affected by their respective relationships with Sarah.

Although the supporting actors in “The Truth” do a very good job with their roles, this movie is really a showcase for Deneuve and Binoche. Deneuve has the more complicated, less transparent role, and she plays it to the hilt without being melodramatic. Binoche gives a quivery-mouth, teary-eyed vulnerability to Lumir, but she also shows that Lumir is no pushover when she expresses how she feels and stands up to her mother’s attempted manipulations.

Charlotte is a typical adorable kid, while Hank is mainly there as a supportive husband. He respects his wife’s wishes to stay out of the conflict between Fabienne and Lumir. In the beginning of the story, Fabienne (who has not seen Frank since his and Lumir’s wedding) seems to show that she doesn’t have much respect for Frank, but she eventually warms up to him when she sees that he’s not going to criticize her in the way that Lumir is intent on doing.

When Frank, Lumir and Charlotte first arrive at Fabienne’s home, she has just finished being interviewed by a print journalist. When the journalist observes that she has visitors at her door, Fabienne says, “It’s nothing. It’s my daughter and her little family.” And when she talks about Frank, she says calling him an “actor” is “saying a lot.”

It turns out that Frank really is a working actor in movies, but he’s not an actor who’s had a leading role yet. He’s taken a vow not to drink alcohol until he gets a leading role, but that vow is quickly broken during the visit with Fabienne. It’s not too much of a surprise, since a lot of people would want to get drunk too if they had to be around a difficult mother-in-law like Fabienne.

Much like celebrities in real life who expect the world to revolve around them, the world of “The Truth” also revolves around Fabienne. Viewers of the movie don’t find out much about Lumir and Frank, other than that one of the reasons why Lumir moved to New York was to get away from her mother. But viewers find out a lot of Fabienne.

Fabienne has an enormous fear of being perceived as a has-been. She’s very competitive with other actresses. (And there’s a somewhat meta moment with Deneuve when Bridget Bardot’s name is mentioned in one scene.) She loves dogs and hates cats. She has an old turtle in her backyard garden that she’s named Pierre, after her ex-husband (Lumir), whom she kicked out of her life when she got tired of him.

Fabienne also lied in her memoir by saying that Pierre is dead. Pierre (played by Roger Van Hool) doesn’t find out that Fabienne has literally written him off as dead until he shows up for a surprise visit while Lumir and her family are at Fabienne’s house. Pierre is a laid-back, scruffy type who never really had big career ambitions (he used to work in the film business as an assistant), and he’s obviously faded into reclusive obscurity. And it doesn’t seem to bother him that Fabienne has told the world that he’s dead.

Although he’s of retirement age, Pierre has been vague about how he’s able to make money. And in one of the more amusing scenes in the film, when Pierre first meets Hank, he mistakenly assumes that Hank is a much-younger lover of Fabienne’s. Fabienne does have a lover, but he’s close to her age. His name is Jacques (played by Christian Crahay), and he happens to be Fabienne’s live-in chef, who’s more than happy to be subservient to her in every way.

Fabienne is clearly someone who is accustomed to using men to get what she wants. In one scene in the movie, she even tells Lumir that she’s never apologized to a man. And it’s also obvious that Fabienne is used to treating other women as rivals, since Fabienne wants to be the queen bee at all times. But that selfishness has come at a price.

A recurring symbolism in the movie is of females brushing each other’s hair. Fabienne lets her granddaughter Charlotte brush her hair, and she comments somewhat sadly that Lumir would never let Fabienne brush Lumir’s hair. Later in the story, it’s revealed that Sarah would often brush Lumir’s hair. The brushing of hair is obviously a metaphor for mutual trust and admiration.

The ending of “The Truth” is a little formulaic, but the head games and verbal sparring between mother and daughter are perfectly matched to this movie. It’s not a movie that’s going to change the world, but it’s one that will make people think about the emotional toll that comes from holding grudges against family members and whether or not refusing to forgive is worth the cost.

IFC Films released “The Truth” in select U.S. cinemas and on VOD on July 3, 2020. The movie was already released in France and in Japan in 2019.

 

Review: ‘Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash,’ starring Ian Shultis, Taylor Clift, Samuel Kay Forrest and Rich Dally III

July 1, 2020

by Carla Hay

Taylor Clift (front row, second from right) and Ian Shultis (crouching in blue shirt) in “Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash” (Photo courtesy of Cleopatra Entertainment)

“Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash”

Directed by Jared Cohn

Culture Representation: This dramatic film, which has a nearly all-white cast (with a few African Americans as extras), tells the story of the 1977 plane crash that took the lives of six people, including four people on the team of multiplatinum American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Culture Clash: Some members of the Lynyrd Skynyrd team had doubts and conflicts about the plane’s safety before it took that fateful flight.

Culture Audience:  Lynyrd Skynyrd fans are the obvious target audience of “Street Survivors,” but the movie should also appeal to people who want to see a dramatic recreation of what happened before, during and after the plane crash, if they can stomach the very graphic and bloody scenes in the movie.

Navarone Garibaldi, Taylor Clift and Samuel Kay Forrest in “Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash” (Photo courtesy of Cleopatra Entertainment)

The tragic story of rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd has been told many times in news reports, feature articles, books and documentaries, including the 2018 documentary film “Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow.” Most of these versions of the band’s story respectfully tiptoed around describing the explicit, gory details of what happened during and after the plane crash in 1977 that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines (Steve’s older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray. The tragedy occurred because the faulty Convair CV-240 chartered plane ran out of fuel and crashed into a wooded area near Gillsburg, Mississippi, on October 20, 1977.

“Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash” (written and directed by Jared Cohn) does not sugarcoat or gloss over the horrors of the crash. The movie is so graphic with its up-close recreation of the blood, injuries and dead bodies, that this film is bound to disturb and probably anger a lot of people. Is it exploitation?

It would feel completely exploitative if not for that fact that plane-crash survivor Artimus Pyle, who was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s drummer at the time, approved this movie, because the the story is told from his perspective. At various points of the film, Pyle does on-camera narration. As a survivor of this tragedy, Pyle certainly has the right to tell his version of events.

If a Lynyrd Skynyrd plane-crash movie had been made without any of the survivors’ input, it wouldn’t be right at all. But if a survivor, who saved the lives of several of the passengers, signed off on this movie, it’s up to viewers to decide if this dramatic recreation of the plane crash is something that’s worth seeing.

But sensitive viewers should be warned: This is one of the most graphic and disturbing plane-crash movies that you might ever see. It’s not recommended viewing for people who’ve survived an aircraft crash or who have a loved one who’s died in an aircraft crash, because this movie will no doubt be triggering for this type of trauma.

The plane crash is depicted about 50 minutes into this 92-minute film. Pyle opens the film by making this statement: “There have been many variations and accounts and contradictions to this story, but I was there. This was something that shouldn’t have happened, but it did. This is more than the story about the plane crash. It’s about the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the greatest Southern rock band of all time.”

Actually, the movie isn’t really about the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, because very little of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s music is in the film. There’s a scene where the actors portraying the band are briefly shown performing “Call Me the Breeze” on stage. The full performance of “Call Me the Breeze” (which is from  Lynyrd Skynyrd’s second album “Second Helping”) is then shown during the end credits.

If people watching this movie are expecting to hear Lynyrd Skynyrd’s greatest hits, then they will be very disappointed. One can assume that this low-budget film didn’t have the money to license the rights to more Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. And that’s probably why the movie does not have a lot of scenes of Lynyrd Skynyrd recording songs or performing live.

And if people are looking for a “rise to fame” story of how Lynyrd Skynyrd went from being unknown musicians based in Tallahassee, Florida, to multiplatinum rock stars, the “Street Survivors” movie isn’t that story either. Because the “Street Survivors” movie is told from Pyle’s perspective, the film starts off with how he joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1975, shortly before Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded the band’s third album “Nuthin’ Fancy,” which yielded the hit single “Saturday Night Special.”

Pyle replaced original Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns, who quit the band after having a nervous breakdown. By the time Pyle joined Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band had sold millions of records and already had several hit songs, such as “Free Bird,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “Don’t Ask Me No Questions” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

The “Street Survivors” movie shows how Pyle (played by Ian Shultis) got the call to audition for Lynyrd Skynyrd and how, about two weeks later, a jubilant Pyle was asked to join the band on stage in Atlanta. Patricia Williamson, who became Pyle’s first wife, is portrayed in the movie as a loving and supportive live-in partner. Williamson is played by Kristina St. Peter in a small supporting role.

After Pyle joined the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd released fourth album “Gimme Back My Bullets” in 1976, and fifth album “Street Survivors” in 1977, just three days before the plane crash. The “Street Survivors” album had the hit songs “What’s Your Name,” “You Got That Right” and “That Smell.” After showing Pyle joining the band, the “Street Survivors” movie skips right to 1977, with the band in the middle of a tour and partying heavily with groupies and other hangers-on at a hotel.

The other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd who are portrayed in the movie are lead singer Ronnie Van Zant (played by Taylor Clift), guitarist Gary Rossington (played by Navarone Garibaldi), guitarist Steve Gaines (played by Samuel Kay Forrest), guitarist Allen Collins (played by Rich Dally III), keyboardist Billy Powell (played by Hudson Long) and bass player Leon Wilkeson (played by Nick Chandler).

Also part of the Lynyrd Skynyrd team at the time were tour manager Ron Eckerman (played by Mark Dippolito), assistant tour manager Kilpatrick (played by Mark Valeriano), and backup singers Cassie Gaines (played by Lelia Symington), Leslie Hawkins (played by Sierra Intoccio) and JoJo Billingsley (played by Julie Zimmer). All of them and other members of the entourage were on that tragic plane flight, which had a total of 26 people on the plane.

The partying scenes in “Street Survivors” are what you would expect, considering the wild reputation that Lynyrd Skynyrd had in the 1970s. Drugs everywhere, especially cocaine and marijuana. Drunken antics. More than a few fist fights. Naked groupies offering up free sex.

In one scene, Van Zant throws a TV out of a hotel room window, causing the window to break in the process. A hotel manager angrily confronts the band in the room and tells them that they have to pay for the damages. Van Zant arrogantly asks the manager who’s going to make them pay, before bass player Wilkeson hits the manager on the head with a beer bottle.

The setbacks caused by this drug-and-alcohol-fueled lifestyle are referenced only in passing in the movie. For example, in another scene, Pyle answers a knock on his hotel door and is told by a male assistant, “Ronnie’s in jail, but here’s your gold record,” as Pyle is handed the gold plaque. It’s an example of the highs and lows of being in Lynyrd Skynyrd. Even before the plane crash, band members Van Zant, Rossington and Collins had car crashes, but those aren’t mentioned in the movie.

In one of his on-camera narrations, the real Pyle comments: “I want the world to know how funny my band was, because being the drummer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, every single day on the road was a hilarious adventure.” Therefore, it isn’t too surprising that the movie doesn’t really cover all the down sides of the band before the plane crash.

The only band members in the movie who are written as having distinct personalities are Pyle, Van Zant and Steve Gaines. All of them were heavy partiers, but Pyle is portrayed as the most responsible one of the three and perhaps the wackiest band member on stage. (Pyle would stage dive into the audience before stage diving became trendy.)

Van Zant is portrayed as a confident, outspoken leader with a quick temper but also extremely loyal to his bandmates. Van Zant had predicted to the other members of Lynyrd Skynryd that he would die before the age of 30 (he was 29 when the plane crash happened), and that ominous premonition is recreated in the movie. Steve Gaines (who was 28 when he died) was the youngest and still fairly new to Lynyrd Skynyrd (he had only been in the band since 1976, as a replacement for Ed King), so he was the band member who was the newest to the rock-star/private-plane lifestyle that Lynyrd Skynyrd was leading.

Even though “Street Survivors” avoids covering the negative effects of the band’s hedonistic lifestyle, what the movie does show is how Lynyrd Skynyrd ended up with the faulty plane that caused this tragedy to happen. In one scene, Aerosmith’s then-manager David Krebs (played by Sean McNabb) is seen in his office, with all of the members of Aerosmith there, surrounded by cocaine and women.

Krebs is shown on the phone rejecting an offer for Aerosmith to use a chartered plane because the plane didn’t meet the band’s safety standards. He also yells at the person on the other line about how the airplane pilot was seen passing a bottle of Jack Daniel’s back and forth during the plane inspection.

Guess which plane Aerosmith rejected and ended up being used by Lynyrd Skynyrd? In the movie, when Lynyrd Skynyrd first sees the plane, someone utters, “What a piece of junk!” And someone else comments on the plane, “Well, I guess that must be ours.”

In the movie, pilot McCreary (played by Tom Jenkins) and co-pilot Gray (played by Will David Jordan) introduce themselves to the band and assorted team members on the airport tarmac. Gray is portrayed as a star-stuck fan who eagerly tells the assembled group: “All my life, all I’ve dreamed of doing is to fly a big rig with rock stars. After this, I’ll die a happy man.” Cringe.

And although the movie doesn’t portray the pilots as being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while flying the plane, it does portray the pilots as very reckless and dishonest about the plane’s mechanical malfunctions. The day before the tragic flight,  Lynyrd Skynyrd flew on that plane and had a close call when one of the plane engines caught on fire. When asked about this major engine problem during the flight, co-pilot Gray brushed it off as “a little blowback” that was “normal.”

The movie shows that although several passengers on the plane were understandably freaked out by the experience, they decided to use the same plane the next day on October 20, 1977. According to the movie, the band’s tour manager made an angry phone call to fix the malfunctioning plane after they landed on October 19, 1977. Obviously, those repairs never happened.

After performing in Greenville, South Carolina, on October 19, 1977, the band had to fly to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, because Lynyrd Skynyrd was scheduled to do a concert at Louisiana State University on October 21, 1977. Because of thee band’s tight schedule, there wasn’t enough time to charter another plane, and Lynyrd Skynyrd couldn’t risk missing the Baton Rouge concert by using other travel methods that would take longer.

Before he became a professional musician, Pyle was an aircraft sergeant in the Marines. That aircraft background helped when it became obvious the plane was in serious trouble during the flight on October 20, 1977. First, the engine problems started again, and oil from the engine could be seen leaking on the airplane windows.

Then, when Pyle and other passengers started asking the pilots what was going on, they found out to their horror that the airplane’s gas gauge wasn’t working, which gave the pilots an overestimation of how much fuel the plane had. The plane had actually run out of fuel. The crash happened when the pilots decided to make an emergency landing. The movie thoroughly conveys the panic that spread throughout the airplane when the passengers knew that they were going to crash.

The bloody and shocking aftermath of the crash is also portrayed in heart-pounding detail, including Pyle having to pull a heavy part of a tree out of a passenger’s chest. Pyle also joined forces with other survivors to try and rescue Rossington, whose legs were pinned underneath part of the destroyed plane. Pyle was the one who left the crash scene to get help in the remote area. When he finally saw a farmhouse and yelled for help at a man standing in the field, the man ended up shooting Pyle in the arm because he thought that Pyle was a crazy trespasser.

The hospital scenes are also very dramatic and might be very hard to watch for some people. The movie shows that even when Pyle was going through this trauma, he had to be the one to identify the bodies at the crash site. He was also the one who had to confirm who owned which luggage items at the crash site. And he had to go through the indignity of being interrogated by a Drug Enforcement Agency officer who was ready to arrest Pyle on the spot when DEA people found legal ginseng in Pyle’s luggage and mistook it for an illegal drug.

One of the points made in the movie is how MCA Records, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s record company at the time, refused to help pay the enormous hospital bills that resulted from the crash. Pyle was the crash survivor with some of the least-severe injuries, so he was the “go to” leading witness for what happened. (He was conscious the whole time and he was still able to walk immediately after the plane crash.) In the movie, Pyle is shown being presented with the hospital bills while many of the surviving passengers are still in the hospital.

Pyle makes an angry phone call to a record-label guy named “Pete,” who coldly tells Pyle that the company isn’t responsible for the hospital bills, because Pyle’s contract was with the now-dead Van Zant. Not for nothing, Lynyrd Skynyrd never released a new studio album with MCA again.

“Street Survivors,” the band’s last album with Ronnie Van Zant, had a haunting band photo on the cover, with fire in the background. In the photo, it looks like Steve Gaines is on fire, which is very eerie, considering that he died in a fiery plane crash. After the plane crash, MCA released the “Street Survivors” album with an alternate cover of a Lynyrd Skynyrd band photo without anything in the background. The album is still available with either album cover.

Although “Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash” doesn’t have top-notch acting or screenwriting, the casting for the movie is actually very good, since all of the actors resemble and capture some essence of their real-life counterparts. And the 1970s rock-star lifestyle scenes in the movie are very accurate.

However, the film’s direction and tone go back and forth between being hokey and suspenseful. Overall, it’s clear that the intention was to make Pyle look like the hero of the story. Some people will agree with that, while others won’t.

The movie has such a full-on commitment to showing realistic details of the plane crash that it might affect people on a deep emotional level. People will be really angry/sad that this tragedy happened or will feel very inspired by how Pyle handled this tragedy. There might be some people who feel both ways.

There will definitely be people who will hate this movie or feel lukewarm about it. However, it’s hard to imagine a lot of people loving this movie, because so much of it is disturbing to watch. Even if people think that “Street Survivors” is a good movie, they might have a hard time watching it again.

Cleopatra Entertainment released “Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash” on digital, VOD, DVD and Blu-ray on June 30, 2020.

Coronavirus cancellations and postponements in the entertainment industry

March 6, 2020

by Carla Hay

Updated July 1, 2020

Daniel Craig as 007 spy James Bond in “No Time to Die.” The movie’s April 2020 release was postponed to November 2020 because of coronavirus concerns in key territories where the movie will be released. (Photo by Nicola Dove)

Concerns about the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic have led to numerous cancellations or postponements in the entertainment industry. The way things are going in the United States and many other countries, any public gathering of at least 50 people per gathering is probably going to be cancelled or postponed until further notice. Shutdowns are occurring at public places for sports and entertainment, as well as restaurants that don’t do takeouts and deliveries.

Here’s a list of what’s been cancelled or postponed so far. This list will be updated as more cancellations and postponements are announced.

NOTE: This list does not include individual TV series, movies, plays or musicals that have shut down production until further notice. (There are too many of them to list.)

Academy Awards

The annual Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) in Los Angeles (originally scheduled for February 28, 2021) has been postponed and rescheduled. The Academy Awards (televised in the U.S. by ABC) will now take place on April 25, 2021. (Updated June 15, 2020.)

Academy of Country Music Awards

The annual ACM Awards (originally scheduled for April 5, 2020) and its related ACM Party for a Cause events in have been postponed and rescheduled. The ACM Awards (televised in the U.S. by CBS) will now take place on September 16, 2020, and has moved from Las Vegas to Nashville. ACM Party for a Cause events will occur around this date in Nashville. Keith Urban was announced as host of the 2020 ACM Awards, which will take place in Nashville for the first time in the show’s 55-year history. (Updated April 27, 2020.)

ACE Comic Con Northeast

ACE Comic Con Northeast was scheduled to take place in Boston from March 20 to March 22, 2020, but the event has been cancelled.

AEG Presents

Live-events promotion company AEG Presents has cancelled or postponed almost all of its events for 2020. (Updated May 24, 2020)

All Points East

The annual All Points East for alternative rock music has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in London) was scheduled for May 22 to May 24 and May 29 to May 31, 2020. ‎Tame Impala, Caribou, ‎Glass Animals and ‎Kelly Lee Owens were among performers. (Updated March 27, 2020)

Anime Expo

The annual Japanese animation convention in Los Angeles has been cancelled as an in-person event and will now be a virtual/online event called Anime Expo Light, which will take place on July 3 and July 4, 2020. (Updated April 21, 2020.

“Antebellum”

Lionsgate has postponed and rescheduled the release of the drama “Antebellum,” starring Janelle Monáe. Originally set for release April 24, 2020, “Antebellum” will now be released on August 21, 2020. (Updated May 2, 2020)

“Antlers”

Searchlight Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of the horror movie “Antlers,” originally set for April 17, 2020. The movie stars Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons. (Updated March 12, 2020)

The Apollo

The world-famous Apollo Theater in New York’s Harlem neighborhood has cancelled all events until further notice. (Updated April 5, 2020)

Apple

The computer corporation is shutting down all Apple retail stores outside of China for two weeks, from March 14 to March 27, 2020. The re-opening date is subject to change. Apple did a similar shutdown of its retail stores in China. (Updated March 12, 2020)

“Artemis Fowl”

Disney’s sci-fi film “Artemis Fowl” (starring Ferdia Shaw, Judi Dench and Colin Farrell) was set for a theatrical release on May 24, 2020, but will instead forgo a theatrical release and go directly to the Disney+ streaming service on June 12, 2020. (Updated April 3, 2020)

“The Artist’s Wife”

Strand Releasing and Water’s End Productions have postponed until further notice the release of the dramatic film “The Artist’s Wife,” starring Lena Olin and Bruce Dern. The film was originally scheduled to be released in New York City on April 3, 2020, in Los Angeles on April 10, 2020, and in the San Francisco Bay Area on April 17, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

ASCAP Experience

The annual Los Angeles networking event for ASCAP songwriters and publishers is now cancelled. ASCAP Experience, formerly known as the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo, was scheduled for April 1 to April 3, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Austin City Limits Festival

The annual music festival in Austin, Texas, has been cancelled. The festival was scheduled for October 2 to October 4 and October 9 to October 11, 2020. Artists on the festival bill included Eminem, Fleetwood Mac, Rage Against the Machine, Chris Stapleton, STS9, Twenty One Pilots and Common. (Updated March 26, 2020)

“The Batman”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this superhero reboot, starring Robert Pattinson. “The Batman” was originally set for June 25, 2021, but will now be released on October 1, 2021. (Updated April 20, 2020)

Beale Street Music Festival

The annual music festival in Memphis, Tennessee, has been cancelled. Originally scheduled for May 1 to May 3, 2020, the event was then postponed to October 16 to October 18, 2020. Artists who had been scheduled to perform at the 2020 Beale Street Music Festival included the Lumineers, Lil Wayne, Three 6 Mafia, the Avett Brothers and the Smashing Pumpkins. (Updated June 18, 2020)

Beijing International Film Festival

The annual event in China has been postponed. The  Beijing International Film Festival was set for April 19 to April 26, 2020.

Justin Bieber

The Grammy-winning pop star has postponed until further notice the North American concerts for his “Changes” Tour. The tour dates were scheduled to begin in Seattle on May 14, 2020, and end in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on September 26, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Big Ears Festival

The annual music and film event in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been cancelled. Originally scheduled for March 26 to March 29, 2020, the Big Ears Festival’s announced performers this year included Devendra Banhart, Anthony Braxton, Kronos Quartet and Patti Smith. (March 11, 2020)

Billboard Music Awards

The annual award show was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on April 29, 2020, but the ceremony has been postponed until further notice. NBC has the U.S. telecast of the Billboard Music Awards. Kelly Clarkson has hosted the show since 2018. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“Black Widow”

Disney’s Marvel Studios has postponed and rescheduled the release of the superhero movie “Black Widow,” which was set for May 1, 2020. The movie’s new release date is November 6, 2020. The stars of “Black Widow” include Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour and Florence Pugh. (Updated April 3, 2020)

“Blue Story”

Paramount Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the U.S. release of this crime drama, starring Stephen Odubola and Micheal Ward. “Blue Story” was due in U.S. theaters on March 20, 2020, and will now be released direct-to-video on May 5, 2020. The movie was already released in the United Kingdom in November 2019. (Updated March 12, 2020)

BMI Latin Awards

The annual BMI Latin Music Awards ceremony has been postponed. The show had been scheduled for March 31 in Los Angeles. The rescheduled date is to be announced. (Updated March 10, 2020)

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi’s summer 2020 North American tour has been cancelled. The New Jersey rock band’s tour had been scheduled to begin in Tacoma, Washington, on June 10, 2020, and end in New York City on July 28, 2020. (Updated April 20, 2020)

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

The annual festival in Manchester, Tennessee, has been cancelled. Originally scheduled to take place June 11 to June 14, 2020, the event had been rescheduled for September 24 to September 27, 2020. Before the cancellation, the announced lineup included Tame Impala, Tool, Lizzo, Vampire Weekend, Lana Del Rey, The 1975, Run the Jewels and Brittany Howard. (Updated June 25, 2020)

BookCon

The annual book fan event in New York City has been cancelled. Originally set for May 30 and May 31, 2020, BookCon had been rescheduled to place on July 25 and July 26, 2020. The event has now been completely scrapped for 2020. (Updated April 14, 2020)

Boston Calling

The annual rock festival in Boston has been cancelled.  Boston Calling had been scheduled for May 22 to May 24, 2020. The festival’s performers this year would have included Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Run the Jewels, Jason Isbell and The 1975. (Updated March 31, 2020)

Boston Symphony Orchestra

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its tour of Asia. The trek had scheduled shows in South Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong from February 6 to February 16, 2020.

BottleRock Napa Valley

The annual music and arts festival in Napa, California, has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally scheduled to take place May 22 to May 24, 2020, the event has now been rescheduled for October 2 to October 4, 2020. Artists originally announced for the festival that are confirmed for the rescheduled dates include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, Khalid, Zedd, and Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Bourbon and Beyond Festival

The annual rock music festival in Louisville, Kentucky, has been cancelled. The Bourbon and Beyond Festival was scheduled to take place from September 25 to September 27, 2020. The lineup of artists had not been announced. (Updated April 24, 2020)

Broadway and off-Broadway shows in New York City

All Broadway and off-Broadway shows in New York City have been cancelled until December 31, 2020, but that date could change, depending on the circumstances. (Updated June 29, 2020)

BST Hyde Park

The annual music festival in London has been cancelled. BST Hyde Park was scheduled for July 4 to July 11, 2020. The artists who were announced as performers included Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Rita Ora, Kesha, Zara Larsson, Pixies, James Blake and Little Mix. (Updated April 8, 2020)

BTS

The South Korean boy band has cancelled all of its concerts in Seoul for its “Map of the Soul” tour. The cancelled BTS shows were scheduled for April 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2020. (Updated March 10, 2020)

Bushfire Relief Charity Concert

The benefit show to help victims of Australia’s wildfires has been cancelled, after being scheduled to take place in Melbourne on March 13, 2020. Miley Cyrus was the headliner, while other artists announced for the show were Lil Nas X, the Veronicas and DJ Seb Fontaine. (Updated March 10, 2020)

CAAMFest

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) in San Francisco has postponed CAAMFest 38 until further notice. The Asian American festival of film, music and food was originally scheduled for May 14 to May 24, 2020. CAAMFest was formerly known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Camila Cabello

The former Fifth Harmony pop star has postponed her Romance world tour, which was set to begin in Oslo on May 26, 2020 and end in Miami September 26, 2020. A concert that was supposed to take place in Dundee, Scotland, on May 24, 2020, has been completely cancelled. (Updated March 24, 2020)

Canadian Music Week

The annual showcase event in Toronto has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for May 19 to May 23, 2020, Canadian Music Week will now take place September 8 to September 13, 2020. (Updated March 18, 2020)

“Candyman”

Universal Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of the horror-movie reboot “Candyman,” starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. “Candyman” was originally scheduled for release on June 12, 2020. The new release date is September 25, 2020. (Updated April 3, 2020)

Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled to take place May 12 to 23, 2020. (Updated May 10, 2020)

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

The annual networking event for creative marketers was set to take place in Cannes, France, from June 22 to June 26, 2020. The event is postponed until further notice. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Canneseries

The annual drama event in Cannes, France, has been postponed and rescheduled. It was originally scheduled to take place March 27 to April 1, 2020, and will now take place October 9 to October 14, 2020.

Mariah Carey

The Grammy-winning superstar has postponed her March 10, 2020, concert in Honolulu and will reschedule it for sometime in November 2020.

“Charm City Kings”

Sony Pictures Classics has dropped the release of this drama, starring Jahi Di’Allo Winston and Meek Mill. “Charm City Kings” had been scheduled for release in select theaters on April 10, 2020. Instead, the streaming service HBO Max will premiere “Charm City Kings” (under the Warner Max label) on a date to be announced. (Updated May 6, 2020)

Ciara

The R&B singer has cancelled her Fort Hood USO show in Texas that was scheduled for March 19, 2020.

CineEurope

The annual cinema convention in Barcelona has cancelled. CineEurope was originally set for June 22 to June 25, 2020, and was rescheduled to take place August 3 to August 5, 2020. However, CineEurope was officially nixed after it became obvious that Spain would not be ready to host large-scale events during the rescheduled dates. (Updated May 12, 2020)

CinemaCon

CinemaCon, the National Association of Theatre Owners’ annual convention in Las Vegas, has been cancelled. The event was scheduled to take place from March 30 to April 2, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Cirque du Soleil

The international acrobatic dance company has cancelled all of its performances worldwide until further notice, as of March 15, 2020. (Updated March 14, 2020)

Kelly Clarkson

The Grammy-winning original “American Idol” winner has postponed until further notice her “Invincible” Las Vegas residency, which had been set to begin on April 1, 2020. In addition, her NBCUniversal-syndicated daytime talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show” has temporarily shut down production. (Updated March 16, 2020)

“The Climb”

Sony Pictures Classics has postponed until further notice the release of this buddy comedy, starring Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin. “The Climb” had been scheduled for release in New York City and Los Angeles on March 20, 2020. (Updated March 16, 2020)

CMA Fest

The Country Music Association’s annual fan festival in Nashville has been cancelled. CMA Fest had been scheduled to take place June 4 to June 7, 2020. The lineup of performers had not been announced. Because CMA Fest will not happen this year, there also won’t be an ABC TV special for CMA Fest in 2020. (Updated March 31, 2020)

CMT Music Awards

The annual CMT Music Awards in Nashville has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set to take place on June 3, 2020, this award show for country music will now take place on October 14, 2020. (Updated April 3, 2020)

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

The world’s biggest annual music festival (in terms of ticket sales) has been cancelled. Originally scheduled for April 10 to April 12 and April 17 to April 19, Coachella was rescheduled for October 9 to October 11 and October 16 to October 18, 2020. The Coachella Festival (which takes  Indio, California) is expected to take place in 2021, but the dates have not yet been announced. Artists who were announced for the 2020 Coachella Festival included Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean, as well as Calvin Harris, Big Sean, Lewis Capaldi, Lana Del Rey, Flume, Lil Nas X, 21 Savage and Charlie XCX. (Updated June 11, 2020)

Comic-Con International

The annual comic-book/sci-fi/fantasy entertainment fan convention in San Diego (also known as San Diego Comic-Con) has been cancelled for the first time in its 50-year history. Comic-Con International had been set for July 23 to July 26, 2020, with preview night taking place on July 22. Comic-Con International will return to San Diego from July 22 to July 25, 2021, with preview night taking place on July 21. Click here for more details. (Updated April 17, 2020)

DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment (the company behind Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Suicide Squad) has cancelled all participation in comic conventions taking place in March 2020, including Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. In addition, DC has cancelled the New York City premiere of its animated film “Superman: Red Sun,” which had been scheduled for March 16, 2020.

Dead and Company

The Grateful Dead spinoff group has cancelled its 2020 U.S. tour. Dead and Company had been scheduled to begin the tour in Boulder, Colorado, on July 10, 2020, and conclude the tour in Boston on August 8, 2020.  These were the only concerts that the band was going to perform in 2020. (Updated April 21, 2020)

“Deerskin”

Greenwich Entertainment has postponed and rescheduled the U.S. release of the French horror-comedy film “Deerskin,” starring Jean Dujardin. “Deerskin” was originally set for a U.S. release in select theaters on March 20, 2020. The new U.S. release date (on digital and VOD) is June 26, 2020. “Deerskin” was already released in France in 2019. (Updated March 30, 2020)

“Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy”

Greenwich Entertainment has postponed and rescheduled the release of the documentary “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy.” The movie was originally set for release on April 22, 2020. In the U.S., the movie will be released in virtual cinemas on May 22, 2020, on digital/VOD on June 19, 2020, and on DVD on June 23, 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

“Dino Dana: The Movie”

Amazon Prime Video and Fathom Events have postponed until further notice the release of this movie spinoff of the “Dino Dana” children’s series. The movie was originally scheduled for a one-day-only release in theaters on March 21, 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Disney

Disney has cancelled its launch event for its streaming service Disney+ Europe, which had been scheduled to take place in London on March 24, 2020. In addition, all Disney theme parks—which were supposed to re-open on March 31, 2020—will be closed until further notice.

Meanwhile, Disney’s “Mulan” is the company’s first movie whose release has been postponed and rescheduled due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Mulan” had been originally scheduled for release on March 27, 2020. The new release date is July 24, 2020. The release of Disney’s action-adventure flick “Jungle Cruise,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, has been pushed back nearly a year, from July 24, 2020, to July 20, 2021. The sci-fi film “Artemis Fowl,” starring Ferdia Shaw and Judi Dench,” was set for a theatrical release on May 24, 2020, but will instead forgo a theatrical release and go directly to the Disney+ streaming service.

Disney-owned 20th Century Pictures (formerly known as 20th Century Fox) has postponed and rescheduled the releases of the action flick “Free Guy” (starring Ryan Reynolds”), which moves from July 3, 2020, to December 11, 2020. 20th Century Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of the superhero flick “The New Mutants,” originally set for April 3, 2020.

Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the comedy “The French Dispatch,” Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet. “The French Dispatch” was originally set for release on July 24, 2020, and will now be released on October 16, 2020. Searchlight Pictures has postponed until further notice the horror movie “Antlers” (starring Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons), which was originally set for April 17, 2020.

Disney-owned Marvel Studios has postponed and rescheduled the releases of the superhero movies “Black Widow,” “The Eternals,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Doctor Strange 2” and “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Each of these movies has a separate listing with each new release date. (Updated April 3, 2020)

“Doctor Strange 2”

Disney’s Marvel Studios has postponed and rescheduled the release of the superhero movie “Doctor Strange 2,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch. “Doctor Strange 2” was originally scheduled for release on May 7, 2021. The new release date is November 5, 2021. (Updated April 3, 2020)

Doha Film Institute’s Qumra Event

The Doha Film Institute’s Qumra event for mentor networking with upcoming talent in the movie industry has been cancelled. The conference was supposed to be from March 20 to March 25 in Doha, Qatar.

Dollywood

Dolly Parton’s theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has temporarily closed until further notice, as of March 14, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Download Festival

The annual Download Festival for hard rock/heavy metal has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in Derby, England) was scheduled for June 12 to June 14, 2020. Kiss, Iron Maiden, System of a Down, Deftones, Gojira and Korn were among the performers. (Updated March 26, 2020)

Dreamville Festival

The annual music festival in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been postponed and rescheduled. Dreamville Festival, which is from hip-hop artist J. Cole, had originally been scheduled for April 4, 2020, and is now set for August 29, 2020. The event’s lineup is to be announced. (Updated March 13, 2020)

East Coast Music Awards: Festival & Conference

Canada’s East Coast Music Association has cancelled the 2020 East Coast Music Awards: Festival & Conference. The event was scheduled to take place in St. John’s from April 29 to May 3, 2020. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Ebertfest

The annual film festival founded by the late film critic Roger Ebert was scheduled for April 15 to April 18, 2020, in Champaign, Illinois, but the event is now cancelled. The next Ebertfest will take place in Champaign from April 14 to April 17, 2021. (Updated March 15, 2020)

Edinburgh Art Festival

The annual event in Scotland has been cancelled. The Edinburgh Art Festival had been scheduled for August 7 to August 29, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The annual performing-arts event in Scotland has been cancelled. The Edinburgh Art Festival had been scheduled for August 7 to August 31, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The United Kingdom’s longest-running film festival has been postponed until further notice. The Edinburgh International Film Festival in Scotland had been scheduled to take place June 17 to June 28, 2020. The festival’s main programming slate for 2020 has not been announced yet. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for May 15 to May 17, 2020, EDC Las Vegas will now take place October 2 to October 4, 2020. The lineup, which remains the same, will include performances by The Chainsmokers, David Guetta, Carl Cox, Alison Wonderland, Martin Garrix, Tiësto, DJ Snake and Major Lazer. (Updated April 3, 2020)

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)

The annual consumer event in Los Angeles for electronic entertainment has been cancelled. Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, had been scheduled to take place from June 9 to June 11, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Electric Forest

The annual music and arts festival in Rothbury, Michigan, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for June 25 to June 28, 2020. Artists who were scheduled to perform included Major Lazer,  Duke Dumont, the String Cheese Incident and  Big Gigantic. (Updated April 21, 2020)

“Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things”

Eagle Rock Entertainment has postponed and rescheduled the theatrical release of this Ella Fitzgerald documentary, which was set for a one-night-only release on April 3, 2020. The movie will now be released in virtual cinemas on June 26, 2020. (Updated June 4, 2020)

Emerald City Comic Con

Scheduled to take place March 12 to March 15, 2020, the annual comic-book convention in Seattle has been postponed. The event will be rescheduled for the summer; the exact dates are to be announced. Before the postponement, Emerald City Comic Con experienced several cancelled appearances. DC Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics, Penguin Random House, as well as individual speakers and panelists, cancelled their participation this year.

Emmy Awards

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has postponed the Daytime Emmy Awards until further notice. The Daytime Emmy Awards had been scheduled to take place in Pasadena, California from June 12 to June 14, 2020. The show’s host and nominations haven’t been announced yet. The Daytime Emmy ceremonies have not been televised in several years. Instead, the live ceremonies can be seen via webcast. (Updated on March 19, 2020)

The National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences has also postponed the annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards (originally scheduled for April 19, 2020, in Las Vegas) and the Sports Emmy Awards, originally scheduled for April 28, 2020, in New York. The rescheduled dates for the ceremonies are to be announced. (Updated March 13, 2020)

“Emperor”

Briarcliff Entertainment has postponed until further notice the release of the dramatic film “Emperor,” starring Dayo Okeniyi, Brad Carter, James Cromwell and Bruce Dern. The movie was set to be released on March 27, 2020. (Updated March 14, 2020)

Epicenter

Concert promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has cancelled the annual Epicenter festival, which was scheduled to take in place in Concord, North Carolina, from May 1 to May 3, 2020. The lineup of performers included Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deftones, Godsmack, Volbeat, Staind, Papa Roach, David Lee Roth, Gojira, Chevelle, Cypress Hill and Rancid.  Many of the artists who were scheduled to perform at the festival will instead perform at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky (another Danny Wimmer Presents event), which has expanded to four days (September 17 to September 20, 2020), with Metallica headlining on September 17. Louder Than Life pass holders will not be charged extra for the fourth day. Ticket/pass holders for the cancelled festival have three options: get a refund, use their purchase for the same festival in 2021, or exchange the purchase for another Danny Wimmer Presents event in 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Essence Festival

The annual music and culture festival presented by Essence magazine in New Orleans has been cancelled. The Essence Festival, which was scheduled to include headliners Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson, had been set for July 1 to July 6, 2020. (Updated April 15, 2020)

“The Eternals”

Disney’s Marvel Studios has postponed and rescheduled the release of the superhero movie “The Eternals,” starring Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, Kumail Nanjiani, Richard Madden, Brian Tyree Henry and Gemma Chan. “The Eternals” was originally scheduled for release on November 6, 2020. The new release date is February 12, 2021. (Updated April 3, 2020)

Eurovision Song Contest

The annual music event was supposed to take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from May 12 and 14, 2020 (for semi-final rounds) and on May 16, 2020 (for the final round), but Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled. It’s the first time in the event’s 64-year history that it has been shut down. (Updated March 18, 2020)

“Fast & Furious 9”

Universal Pictures has postponed the release of this action sequel to April 2021. (The U.S. release will be on April 2, 2021.) “Fast &  Furious 9,” starring Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, was originally scheduled for release on May 22, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Festival d’été de Québec

The annual music festival Québec City has been cancelled. Festival d’été de Québec was scheduled for July 9 to July 19, 2020. Artists were announced as performers included Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, The National, Marshmello, Alanis Morissette, G-Eazy, 5 Seconds of Summer and Halsey. (Updated April 9, 2020) 

Film at Lincoln Center

The membership-funded organization Film at Lincoln Center in New York City became one of the first in the U.S. to close its movie theaters, as of March 12, 2020, until further notice. Film at Lincoln Center operates the Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center. Film at Lincoln Center has also postponed the New Directors/New Films Festival (which had been scheduled to run from March 25, to April 5, 2020) and the Chaplin Award Gala honoring Spike Lee, which was set for April 27, 2020. The rescheduled dates are to be announced. In addition, Film at Lincoln Center’s membership magazine Film Comment (which has been published since 1962) is going on an indefinite hiatus after the May/June 2020 issue, which will be published in digital form only. (Updated March 28, 2020)

Film Independent Spirit Awards

The annual Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California, (originally scheduled for February 27, 2021) has been postponed and rescheduled. The Film Independent Spirit Awards (televised in the U.S. by IFC) will now take place on April 24, 2021. (Updated June 16, 2020.)

Firefly Festival

The annual music festival in Dover, Delaware, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled to take place from June 18 to June 21, 2020. Artists who were announced for the event included Rage Against the Machine, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Khalid, Blink-182, Maggie Rogers, Cage the Elephant, Illenium, Diplo and Run the Jewels. (Updated March 26, 2020)

FlameCon

The annual LGBTQ comic-book/sci-fi convention in New York City has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled to take place August 15 and August 16, 2020. The next FlameCon will take place August 21 and August 22, 2021. (Updated May 28, 2020)

Foo Fighters

The Grammy-winning rock band has postponed April 2020 U.S. concerts for its Van Tour. Some of the concerts have already been rescheduled for December 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Fox Entertainment

Fox Entertainment has cancelled all development presentations at industry events until further notice. Fox Broadcasting Company’s “WWE Smackdown Live” will not have live audiences until further notice. (Updated March 12, 2020.)

Fox News

Fox News has cancelled its upfront presentation that was scheduled to take place in New York City on March 24, 2020. In addition, Fox News’ “The Greg Gutfeld Show” will not have live audiences until further notice. (Updated March 12, 2020.)

“The French Dispatch”

Searchlight Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the comedy “The French Dispatch,” starring Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet. “The French Dispatch” was originally set for release on July 24, 2020, and will now be released on October 16, 2020.

Frozen Dead Guy Days

Frozen Dead Guys Days in Nederland, Colorado, was scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 15, 2020, but has been cancelled. The annual event celebrates “frosty merriment featuring live bands and outrageous events—paying homage to Bredo Morstol, frozen in a Tuff Shed,” according to a statement on the event’s website.

Full Frame Documentary Festival

The annual Full Frame Documentary Festival in Durham, North Carolina, has been cancelled. The event had been set for April 2 to April 5, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Game Developers Conference

The annual video-game industry conference in San Francisco was scheduled to take place March 16 to Mach 20, 2020, but the event has now been postponed. The new dates for the event are to be announced.

“The Ghost of Peter Sellers”

Film Movement has postponed and rescheduled the release of this documentary, which chronicles the ill-fated production of the Peter Sellers movie “Ghost of the Noonday Sun.” “The Ghost of Peter Sellers” had been scheduled for release in New York City on March 27, 2020. The movie’s VOD release is on June 23, 2020. (Updated May 1, 2020)

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this “Ghostbusters” sequel. “Ghosbusters: Afterlife,” starring original “Ghostbusters” headliners Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, was due out in cinemas on July 10, 2020, and has been rescheduled to open on March 5, 2021. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Gibson

The world-famous guitar manufacturer has temporarily closed its headquarters in Nashville and its facility in Bozemon, Montana, as of March 20, 2020. The operations will re-open on a date to be announced. (Updated March 20, 2020)

GLAAD Media Awards

The GLAAD Media Awards have been cancelled. The bi-coastal ceremonies for LGBTQ people in entertainment/media had been set for New York City on March 19, 2020, and Beverly Hills, California, on April 16, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Glastonbury Festival

The Glastonbury Festival, one of Europe’s largest annual music events, has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in Glastonbury, England) was scheduled for June 24 to June 28, 2020. Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Diana Ross were among the headliners. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Global Media Summit

The annual Global Media Summit (GMS) in Carrollton, Texas, has been cancelled. Described by organizers as “a Christian alliance uniting media professionals globally,” the event, which includes the GMS Music Awards, was scheduled to take place from April 22 to April 25, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

“Godzilla vs. Kong”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled “Godzilla vs. Kong,” starring Millie Bobby Brown, Alexander Skarsgård and Rebecca Hall. “Godzilla vs. Kong” was originally set to premiere on November 20, 2020, and is now set for release on May 21, 2021. (Updated June 11, 2020)

Google I/O and Google Cloud Next events

Google has cancelled Google I/O. The annual event for Google developers to announce consumer products was scheduled to take place in Mountain View, California, from May 12 to May 14, 2020. Meanwhile, the Google Cloud Next event that was supposed to happen in San Francisco from April 6 to April 8, 2020, will shift from a physical event to a virtual online event, where attendees will be participate through digital resources.

Governors Ball

The annual Governors Ball music festival in New York City has been cancelled. The festival was scheduled for June 5 to June 7, 2020. Artists on the festival bill included Stevie Nicks, Missy Elliott, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Solange, Miley Cyrus, Flume, Maren Morris, Ellie Goulding, H.E.R., Banks, Of Monsters and Men, Milky Chance, Bleachers and Swae Lee. (Updated March 26, 2020)

Great Escape Festival

The annual Great Escape Festival for alternative rock has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in Brighton and Hove, England) was scheduled for May 13 to May 16, 2020. Balming Tiger, House of Pharaohs and Amber Van Day were among performers. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Green Day

The Grammy-winning rock band has postponed all of its concerts in Asia for the band’s Hella Mega Tour. The shows have not been rescheduled yet. The postponed concerts were scheduled to take place from March 8 to March 27, 2020, in Singapore, The Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.

“The Grizzlies”

Mongrel Media had planned to release this Canadian lacrosse movie in the U.S. on March 20, 2020, but the movie’s U.S. release has been postponed until further notice. “The Grizzlies,” whose cast includes Ben Schnetzer and Booboo Stewart, was already released in Canada in 2019. (Updated March 16, 2020)

“The High Note”

Focus Features has postponed and rescheduled the release of the comedy film “The High Note” starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson. “The High Note” was originally scheduled for release in theaters on May 8, 2020. The new release will be direct-to-video on May 29, 2020, with a premium rental price. (Updated May 4, 2020)

HistoryCon

The History Channel’s annual fan convention in Pasadena, California, has been postponed until further notice. HistoryCon was originally scheduled to take place April 3 to April 5, 2020. (Updated March 20, 2020)

Hometown Rising

The annual country music festival in Louisville, Kentucky, has been cancelled. Hometown Rising was scheduled to take place on September 12 and September 13, 2020. The lineup of artists had not been announced. (Updated April 24, 2020)

Hot Docs

The annual documentary festival in Toronto has been postponed until further notice. The event had been scheduled for April 30 to May 10, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

“I Am Not Alone”

Avalanche Entertainment has postponed until further notice the release of this documentary about Armenian activist Nikol Pashinyan. The movie had originally been scheduled for release in New York City on April 10, 2020 and in Los Angeles on April 17, 2020. (Updated March 18, 2020)

“I Know This Much Is True”

HBO has postponed and rescheduled the TV premiere of the limited drama series “I Know This Much Is True,” starring Mark Ruffalo. “I Know This Much is True” was originally set to premiere on April 27, 2020, and will now premiere on May 10, 2020. (Updated March 31, 2020)

iHeartRadio Music Awards

The iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles (originally scheduled for March 29, 2020) has been postponed, and the rescheduled date is to be announced. Fox has the U.S. telecast of the annual award show. (Updated March 14, 2020)

“In the Heights”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this musical movie, starring Anthony Ramos. The “In the Heights” movie, which is based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, was originally scheduled to be released on June 26, 2020. The new release date is June 18, 2021. (Updated on March 24, 2020) 

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

The annual event has been postponed until further notice. The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles was originally scheduled for April 1 to April 5, 2020. (Updated March 14, 2020)

Isle of Wight Festival

The annual Isle of Wight Festival for rock and pop music has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in Newport, England) was scheduled for June 11 to June 14, 2020. Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, the Chemical Brothers and Duran Duran were among the performers. (Updated March 26, 2020)

Ivors With Apple Music Awards

The annual award show in London has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for May 21, 2020, the ceremony will now take place on September 2, 2020. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Elton John

The Grammy-and-Oscar-winning superstar has postponed all of his North American concerts that were scheduled to take place from March 25 to May 2, 2020. The shows are going to be rescheduled for 2021, on dates to be announced. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Jonas Brothers

Sibling pop trio the Jonas Brothers have cancelled their Las Vegas residency, which had been scheduled to run April 1 to April 18, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

“Judy & Punch”

Samuel Goldwyn Films has postponed and rescheduled the release of the drama “Judy & Punch,” starring Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman. Originally scheduled for release on April 24, 2020, “Judy & Punch” will now be released in select U.S. theaters (if they’re open) and on VOD on June 5, 2020. (Updated April 6, 2020)

“Jungle Cruise”

Disney has postponed and rescheduled the release of the action-adventure flick “Jungle Cruise,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. The movie’s release date moves from July 24, 2020, to July 20, 2021. (Updated April 3, 2020)

Just for Laughs

The annual comedy festival in Montreal has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for  July 15 to July 26, 2020, Just for Laughs will now take place from September 29 to October 11,  2020. (Updated April 3, 2020)

“King Richard”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this drama, starring Will Smith as Richard Williams, father to tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams. “King Richard” was originally set for November 25, 2020, but will now be released on November 19, 2021. (Updated April 20, 2020)

“Koko-Di Koko-Da”

Dark Star Pictures has postponed until further notice the U.S. release of this Swedish horror film. “Koko-Di Koko-Da” (starring Peter Belli, Leif Edlund and Ylva Gallon) had been scheduled for release in New York City on March 27, 2020, with more U.S. cities to follow in subsequent weeks. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Lady Gaga

The Grammy-and-Oscar-winning pop star has postponed until further notice the release of her album “Chromatica,” which was originally due out on April 10, 2020. In addition, Lady Gaga’s Las Vegas shows that were set for April 30 to May 11, 2020, have been postponed. (Updated March 24, 2020)

Avril Lavigne

The Grammy-winning pop star has postponed the Asian leg of her “Head Above Water” world tour. The concerts (which were to take place from April 23 to May 24, 2020) were scheduled for China, Japan, The Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The rescheduled dates are to be announced.

“The Library That Dolly Built”

Abramorama has postponed and rescheduled the release of this Dolly Parton documentary, which was originally scheduled to be released in U.S. cinemas for one night only on April 2, 2020. The one-night-only release will now take place on September 21, 2020. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Life Is Beautiful

The annual music and arts festival in Las Vegas has been cancelled. Life Is Beautiful had been scheduled for September 18 to September 20, 2020. The event’s lineup had not been announced. (Updated April 21, 2020)

Live Nation

Live Nation, the world’s largest live-events promotion company, has cancelled or postponed almost all of its events for 2020. (Updated May 24, 2020)

Locarno Film Festival

The annual event in Switzerland has been cancelled. The Locarno Film Festival had been scheduled for August 5 to August 15, 2020. Instead, the festival will launch Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films, an online program to promote independent films. (Updated April 29, 2020)

Lollapalooza Festival

The annual music festival in Chicago has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for July 30 to August 2, 2020. The  2020 Lollapalooza lineup had not been announced. (Updated June 9, 2020)

London Book Fair

The annual London Book Fair has been cancelled. The event was scheduled for March 10 to March 12, 2020.

Louder Than Life

The annual heavy-metal festival in Louisville, Kentucky, has been cancelled. Louder Than Life was scheduled to take place between September 18 and September 20, 2020. Metallica had been announced as the headliner. (Updated April 24, 2020)

“The Lovebirds”

Paramount Pictures has dumped the release of this comedy, starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani. The movie was supposed to have its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, which was also cancelled. “The Lovebirds” was due in U.S. theaters on April 3, 2020, but will now be released directly on Netflix on May 22, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Lovebox Festival

The annual Lovebox Festival for electronica dance music has been cancelled. The festival (which takes place in London) was scheduled for June 12 to June 14, 2020. Fatboy Slim, DJ Harvey and Annie Mac were among the performers. (Updated March 27, 2020)

Made in America Festival

The annual music festival in Philadelphia has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for September 5 and September 6, 2020. The 2020 Made in America Festival lineup had not been announced.  (Updated July 1, 2020)

“Malignant”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed until further notice this thriller, starring Annabelle Wallis. “Malignant” was originally scheduled to be released on August 14, 2020. (Updated on March 24, 2020) 

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

The annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival in California has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for May 20 to May 24, 2020. (Updated March 26, 2020)

“The Many Saints of Newark”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this prequel to “The Sopranos,” starring Michael Gandolfini, Ray Liotta and Vera Farmiga. “The Many Saints of Newark” was originally set for September 25, 2020, but will now be released on March 12, 2021. (Updated April 20, 2020)

“The Matrix 4”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the fourth “Matrix” movie, whose official title is to be announced. The sci-fi sequel was originally due out on May 21, 2021, and is now set for release on April 1, 2022. (Updated June 11, 2020)

Melbourne International Film Festival

The annual Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for August 6 to August 23, 2020. (Updated April 7, 2020)

Method Fest Independent Film Festival

The annual festival for independent film actors has been postponed and rescheduled. It had been originally scheduled to take place in Beverly Hills, California, from March 20 to March 26, 2020. The new dates for the event are May 29 to June 4, 2020. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera in New York City has cancelled all performances until December 31, 2020. (Updated June 2, 2020)

Miami Film Festival

The annual event began on March 6, 2020, and was scheduled to end on March 15, 2020, but was abruptly cancelled on March 12, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

MIDEM

The annual music-industry conference in Cannes, Frances, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for June 2  to June 5, 2020. MIDEM officials have announced that some of the previously announced keynote speakers will still deliver their speeches, but will do so online. Previously announced keynote speakers include singer/songwriter Akon, SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor, the Raine Group partner Fred Davis, and Downtown Music Holdings CEO Justin Kalifowitz. (Updated March 30, 2020)

“Minions: The Rise of Gru”

Universal Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this animated sequel. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” had originally been due out in late June 2020 (in some countries) and on July 8, 2020 in the United States. The movie, includes voice actor Steve Carell, is now set to be released on July 2, 2021. (Updated April 1, 2020)

MIPDoc

The annual documentary industry event in Cannes, France, has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place March 28 and March 29, 2020.

MIPFormats

The annual producer/buyer event in Cannes, France, has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place March 28 and March 29, 2020.

MIPTV

The annual TV industry event in Cannes, France, has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place March 30 to April 3, 2020.

MobMovieCon

The annual event in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that focuses on mobster movies and related entertainment has been postponed and rescheduled. The inaugural Mob Movie Awards will still be part of the event, which has moved from April 18 and April 19, 2020 to August 22 and August 23, 2020. In addition, SopranosCon Part II will be incorporated into MobMovieCon this year. (Updated March 13, 2020.) 

Montclair Film Festival

The annual festival in Montclair, New Jersey, has been postponed until further notice. The Montclair Film Festival had been originally scheduled to take place from March 20 to March 26, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Montreaux Jazz Festival

The annual Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland has been cancelled, for the first time in the event’s 53-year history. The festival had been scheduled for July 3 to 18, 2020. Artists (Updated April 17, 2020)

“Morbius”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this vampire flick, based on the Marvel Comics character. “Morbius,” starring Jared Leto as the title character, was originally due in cinemas on July 31, 2020, and has been rescheduled to open on March 19, 2021. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Movie theaters

Movie theaters are being shut down in several countries, including China, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cineplex have closed until further notice all of their theaters in the U.S., as of March 17, 2020. Cinemark closed until further notice all of its theaters in the U.S., as of March 18, 2020, while other corporate-owned movie-theater chains around the U.S. were closed that week too. In the U.S., almost all independent movie theaters are closed until further notice. Drive-in theaters are remaining open. If there are any indoor movie theaters in the U.S. that are open, most have pledged to not book theater rooms at more than 50% capacity. But given the huge dropoff in moviegoing since the coronavirus outbreak was classified as a pandemic, attendance at movie theaters was reaching well below 50% anyway. (Updated March 22, 2020)

“Mulan”

Disney has postponed and rescheduled the release of its live-action remake of “Mulan,” starring  Liu Yifei as the title character. The movie was originally scheduled to be released on March 27, 2020, was postponed to July 24, 2020, nd will now be released on August 21, 2020. Premieres for the movie were already held in Los Angeles on March 9 and in London on March 12, 2020. (Updated April 3, 2020)

Music Biz

The Music Business Association’s annual Music Biz conference in Nashville has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally scheduled for May 11 to May 14, 2020, the event is now set for August 16 to August 19, 2020. (Updated March 20, 2020)

“My Spy”

STX Films has dumped the comedy “I Spy,” which was supposed to be released in U.S. theaters on April 17, 2020. The movie’s U.S. release will now be directly on Amazon Prime Video, on June 26, 2020. “My Spy,” starring Dave Bautista and Chloe Coleman, was already released in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Croatia, Germany and the Netherlands. (Updated June 11, 2020)

National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas has been cancelled. The annual convention had been scheduled to take place from April 19 to April 22, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

National Symphony Orchestra

The U.S. ensemble has cancelled its tour of China and Japan. The National Symphony Orchestra concerts were scheduled for March 6 to March 17, 2020.

Netflix Is a Joke Fest

Netflix has postponed until further notice its inaugural comedy festival in Los Angeles. Netflix Is a Joke Fest had been set for April 27 to May 3, 2020. Announced stand-up comedy performers included Dave Chappelle, Ali Wong, Marlon Wayans, Amy Schumer, Pete Davidson, Taylor Tomlinson, Iliza Shlesinger, Deon Cole and Ken Jeong. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“The New Mutants”

20th Century Pictures (formerly known as 20th Century Fox) has postponed until further notice the release of the superhero flick “The New Mutants,” originally set for April 3, 2020. The movie’s ensemble cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams and Charlie Heaton. (Updated March 12, 2020.)

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The annual music and arts event has been cancelled. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival had been scheduled for April 23 to May 3, 2020. The performers would have included The Who, Dead & Company, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Lionel Richie and Lizzo. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards

The annual award show in Los Angeles has been postponed and rescheduled as a virtual ceremony. The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards had been set for March 22, 2020 but the virtual ceremony will take place on May 2, 2020. Chance the Rapper had been announced as the ceremony’s host, but the virtual ceremony will be hosted by Victoria Justice. (Updated April 24, 2020)

Nightclubs

Even if there are cities that allow gatherings of less than 50 people per gathering, several cities are still mandating the closure of all nightclubs and bars in the cities until further notice. In the United States, New York City and Los Angeles were among the first big cities that have ordered these closures. (Updated March 15, 2020)

“Nina Wu”

Film Movement has postponed the U.S. release of this Chinese drama, starring Ke-Xi Wu as the title character. Originally scheduled for a U.S. release on March 20, 2020, the new U.S. release date for “Nina Wu” is to be announced.  (Updated March 13, 2020.)

“No Time to Die”

The release of this James Bond 007 movie, starring Daniel Craig, has been postponed and rescheduled. MGM Pictures’ “No Time to Die” had been scheduled to be released in the U.K. and other territories on April 2, 2020, and in the U.S. and other territories on April 10, 2020. The new release date in the U.K. and other territories is November 12, 2020, and the new release date in the U.S. and other territories is November 20, 2020.

Olivier Awards

The annual award show in London for West End stage shows has been cancelled. The Olivier Awards had been scheduled for April 5, 2020. The winners will be announced in another way, most likely online. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Orange Warsaw Festival

The annual music and arts festival in Poland has been cancelled. The Orange Warsaw Festival had been scheduled for June 5 and June 6, 2020. (Updated March 24, 2020)

Outside Lands

The annual Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco has been cancelled. The festival was scheduled for August 7 to August 9, 2020. The festival will return on August 6 to August 8, 2021, with most of the same artists who were scheduled for the 2020 Outside Lands event. Artists on the 2021 Outside Lands bill include Tame Impala, Lizzo, The Strokes, Tyler, the Creator, The 1975, J Balvin, Kehlani, Vampire Weekend, Young Thug and Zhu. (Updated June 24, 2020)

PaleyFest

PaleyFest in Los Angeles has been postponed until further notice. The event, which showcases TV programs and TV stars, had been scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 21, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

Pearl Jam

The Grammy-winning rock band has postponed the North American leg of its “Gigaton” tour. The tour dates consisted of U.S. and Canadian concerts that were scheduled to begin on March 18 in Toronto and run through April 19 in Oakland, California. There’s no word yet on when these Pearl Jam shows will be rescheduled. In addition, Pearl Jam has cancelled the “Gigaton Listening Experience,” which was supposed to take place March 25, 2020, as a one-night-only listening event at numerous Dolby movie theaters worldwide for the band’s “Gigaton” album. (Updated March 17, 2020)

PEN America Literary Gala

The annual PEN America Literary Gala has been postponed and rescheduled. The event was originally set for May 19, 2020, and will now take place on September 15, 2020. (Updated March 20, 2020)

“The Personal History of David Copperfield”

20th Century Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the U.S. release of the drama “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” originally set for May 8, 2020. The new U.S. release date is August 14, 2020. The movie, which was already released in the United Kingdom in January 2020, stars Dev Patel. (Updated June 11, 2020)

“Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this live-action/animated sequel. “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” was originally due in cinemas on April 3, 2020, was postponed to August 7, 2020, and will now be released on January 15, 2021. The cast of “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” includes Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and David Oyelowo as live actors and Margot Robbie and Elizabeth Debicki as voice actors. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Pilmgrimage Music and Cultural Festival

The annual music festival in Franklin, Tennessee, has been cancelled. The event had been set to take place September 26 and September 27, 2020. (Updated May 19, 2020)

“Praise This”

Universal Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of the music-choir drama “Praise This,” which was originally scheduled for release on September 25, 2020. (Updated April 3, 2020)

Primavera Sound Festival

The annual music festival in Barcelona has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for June 4 to June 7, 2020, the festival will now take place August 26 to August 30, 2020. The artists announced for the event include Massive Attack, Disclosure, Kacey Musgraves, the Strokes, Lana Del Rey, Beck, Bikini Kill, Iggy Pop, Bauhaus, Bad Bunny, Jesus and Mary Chain and Tyler, the Creator.

Premios Platino

The annual film and TV awards event has been cancelled. Premios Platino had been scheduled to take place in Riviera Maya, Mexico, from May 1 to May 3, 2020.

“A Quiet Place Part II”

Paramount Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this horror sequel, starring Emily Blunt, which was originally scheduled to be released from March 18 to March 20, 2020, depending on the territory. (The U.S. release was supposed to on March 20.) The movie’s new release date is now September 4, 2020. “A Quiet Place Part II” already had its world premiere in New York City on March 8, 2020. (Updated April 2, 2020)

“Radium Girls”

Juno Films has postponed until further notice the release of the drama “Radium Girls,” which is about a group of young female labor activists in the 1920s. The movie, which stars Joey King and Abby Quinn, was originally scheduled for release on April 3, 2020. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Rage Against the Machine

The Grammy-winning rock band has postponed until further notice the first two months of its Public Service Announcement reunion tour that was set begin March 26, 2020 in El Paso, Texas, and continue to May 23, 2020, in Boston. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Record Store Day

Record Store Day, which takes place at various retail music stores around the world, has been postponed and rescheduled. Originally set for April 4, 2020, Record Store Day is now set for June 20, 2020. (Updated March 13, 2020)

Red Sea Film Festival

The inaugural event (which was scheduled to take place March 12 to March 21, 2020 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) has now been postponed until further notice. Oscar-winning filmmakers Oliver Stone and Spike Lee had been announced to attend the event. Stone was selected as a jury member, while Lee was supposed to present a special screening of his 1992 film “Malcolm X.”

Restaurants

Even if there are cities that allow gatherings of less than 50 people per gathering, several cities are still mandating the closure of all restaurants in the cities until further notice, unless the restaurants can do take-outs and deliveries. (Updated March 15, 2020)

“Rewind”

FilmRise has postponed and rescheduled the theatrical release of director Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s autobiographical documentary about abuse that he experienced as a child. “Rewind” had been set to be released in New York City on March 27, 2020, and in Los Angeles on April 3, 2020. The movie will now be released on digital and VOD on May 8, 2020. “Rewind” will also be shown on the PBS series “Independent Lens” on May 11, 2020. (Updated April 16, 2020)

Ride for Ronnie Motorcycle Ride and Concert

The Ride for Ronnie Motorcycle Ride and Concert (which was planned for May 17, 2020) has been postponed until further notice. The annual event benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is comprised of a motorcycle ride originating at Harley-Davidson of Glendale, California, followed by an afternoon of live music at Los Encinos Park in Encino, California. (Updated March 17, 2020)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which was supposed to take place on May 2 in Cleveland, has been postponed and rescheduled  for November 7. The performers who will be inducted are Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex. HBO will have the live telecast of the show. In addition, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is closed until further notice, as of March 14, 2020. (Updated March 28, 2020)

Rolling Loud Festival

The Rolling Loud festival in Miami has been postponed and rescheduled with the same lineup. The festival was originally set for May 8 to May 10, 2020, and will now take place February 12 to 14, 2021. The artists who are scheduled to perform include Post Malone, Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Rick Ross, Big Sean, Megan Thee Stallion, Swae Lee, Juicy J, A$AP Ferg, Tyga, Young Thug, Gucci Mane, T-Pain, YG, Playboi Carti, Lil Yachty and Young M.A. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have postponed until further notice the 2020 North American leg of their “No Filter” tour. The 15 concerts were scheduled to begin May 8 in San Diego and end July 9 in Atlanta. (Updated March 18, 2020)

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The annual event in Scotland has been cancelled. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo had been scheduled for August 7 to August 29, 2020. (Updated April 1, 2020)

“Run”

Lionsgate has postponed until further notice the release of the horror film “Run,” originally set for May 8, 2020. The movie stars Sarah Paulson. (Updated March 17, 2020)

RuPaul’s DragCon LA

This annual Los Angeles event celebrating the culture of drag queens has been cancelled. RuPaul’s DragCon LA had been scheduled to take place May 1 to May 3, 2020. (Updated March 10, 2020)

San Francisco Silent Film Festival

The annual event has been cancelled. Originally set to take place from April 29 to May 3, 2020, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival was rescheduled for November 11 to November 15, 2020. However, the festival has now been cancelled for 2020, and is set to from May 5 to May 9, 2021. (June 3, 2020)

“Scoob!”

Warner Bros. Pictures will release directly to home video this animated film, based on the “Scooby-Doo” TV series. “Scoob!” was originally scheduled to be released in theaters on May 15, 2020. The release date is still the same, but it will now be on digital and VOD. The movie’s voice cast includes Frank Welker, Will Forte, Gina Rodriguez, Amanda Seyfried and Zac Efron. (Updated on April 21, 2020) 

“The Secret: Dare to Dream”

Roadside Attractions has postponed until further notice the release of this dramatic film, starring Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas. “The Secret: Dare to Dream” was due in U.S. theaters on April 17, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Series Mania

The annual TV festival in Lille, France, has been cancelled. Series Mania was supposed to take place from March 20 to March 28, 2020. (Updated March 11, 2020)

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Disney’s Marvel Studios has postponed and rescheduled the release of the superhero movie “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” starring Simu Liu and Tony Leung. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” was originally scheduled to be released on February 12, 2021, and will now be released on May 7, 2021. (Updated April 3, 2020)

“Sing 2”

Universal Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this animated sequel. “Sing 2,” which includes voice actors Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey, was originally set to open July 2, 2021, and will now be released on December 22, 2021. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Slay the Dragon”

This critically acclaimed documentary about gerrymandering in U.S. politics had been scheduled for a limited U.S. theatrical release on March 13, 2020. Magnolia Pictures will now release “Slay the Dragon” on VOD and on other digital platforms on April 3, 2020. (Updated March 10, 2020)

“Sometimes Always Never”

Blue Fox Entertainment has postponed and rescheduled the U.S. release of this British thriller, starring Bill Nighy and Sam Riley. “Sometimes Always Never” had been rescheduled for a U.S. theatrical release on April 15, 2020, after being postponed from March 6, 2020. The movie will now be released in virtual cinemas on June 12, 2020, and on VOD on July 10, 2020. The movie was already released in 2019 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hungary. (Updated June 1, 2020)

Songwriters Hall of Fame

The annual Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony in New York City has been postponed and rescheduled for 2021, and the show will award the previously announced honorees. Originally set for June 11, 2020, the ceremony will now take place on June 10, 2021. The previously announced honorees are Mariah Carey; Eurythmics co-founders Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart; the Isley Brothers members Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley,  Rudolph Isley and Chris Jasper; Steve Miller; the Neptunes founders Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo; Rick Nowels; and William “Mickey” Stevenson. Paul Williams will receive the Johnny Mercer Award. Universal Music Publishing chairman/CEO Jody Gerson will receive the Abe Olman Publisher Award. (Updated March 31, 2020)

Sonic Temple Arts + Music Festival

Concert promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has cancelled the annual Sonic Temple Arts + Music Festival, which was scheduled to take in place in Columbus, Ohio, from May 15 to May 17, 2020. The lineup of performers included Metallica, Slipknot, Deftones, Bring Me the Horizon, Evanescence, and Staind. Many of the artists who were scheduled to perform at the festival were going to perform at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky (another Danny Wimmer Presents event), which has expanded to four days (September 17 to September 20, 2020), with Metallica headlining on September 17. However, the 2020 edition of Louder Than Life has now also been cancelled(Updated April 24, 2020)

South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals

The 2020 edition of SXSW has been cancelled for the first time in the event’s 34-year history. The event was scheduled to take place from March 13 to 22 in Austin, Texas. A public health state of emergency has also been declared in the city of Austin. SXSW includes festivals for music, film and live comedy, as well as conferences for technology, education and gaming. Days before the cancellation, several companies pulled of out participating in the event this year, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Lionsgate, Starz, TikTok, Twitter, Vevo and WarnerMedia. The SXSW Film Festival announced that it will still give awards this year in the jury-voted categories. The films in competition are being made available online to jurors. Winners will be announced online and not at an awards ceremony. Click here for the full story of the SXSW event cancellation. On April 2, it was announced that the 2020 SXSW Film Festival has partnered with Amazon Prime Video to make select films from the cancelled festival available for free on Amazon Prime Video for a limited time. Click here for more details. (Updated April 2, 2020)

“Spiral”

Lionsgate has postponed until further notice the release of the horror movie “Spiral,” originally set for May 15, 2020. The movie, which is a reboot of the “Saw” franchise, stars Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run”

Paramount Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this animated sequel, starring voice actor Tom Kenney, which was originally scheduled to be released May 22, 2020. The movie’s new release date is now July 31, 2020. (Updated April 2, 2020)

Stagecoach Music  Festival

The annual country music festival has been cancelled. Originally scheduled for April 24 to April 26, 2020, Stagecoach (which takes place in Indio, California) was rescheduled for October 23 to October 25, 2020, but now the event will not take place in 2020. Artists who had been announced to perform included headliners Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church, as well as Brett Young, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Dan + Shay, Alan Jackson, Jon Pardi and Bryan Adams. (Updated June 11, 2020)

Harry Styles

The former One Direction star has postponed and rescheduled the U.K. and continental European dates of his Love on Tour. The shows were originally scheduled to begin April 15, 2020 in Birmingham, England, and end June 3, 2020, in Moscow. The concerts will now take place in 2021, beginning February 12 in Bologna, Italy, and end March 30 in Moscow. (Updated March 25, 2020)

Taylor Swift

The Grammy-winning superstar has postponed all of her tour dates for the remainder of 2020. The rescheduled dates for the concerts are to be announced. Unlike other artists’ tour dates that have been postponed, refunds will be available for Swift’s postponed tour dates. (Updated April 17, 2020)

Summerfest

The annual music festival in Milwaukee has been postponed and rescheduled. The event was originally set for June 24 to July 5 to the weekends of September 3 to September 5, September 10 to September 12, and September 17 to September 19, 2020. Performers include Justin Bieber, Guns N’Roses, Dave Matthews Band, Luke Bryan, Khalid, Halsey, Sam Hunt and Jessie Reyez. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Sun Valley Film Festival

The annual festival in Sun Valley, Idaho, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled to take place from March 18 to March 22, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Sydney Film Festival

The annual film festival in Australia had been scheduled for June 3 to June 14, 2020, but the event has been cancelled. The Sydney Film Festival plans to return in 2021. (Updated March 17, 2020)

“Tenet”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the thriller “Tenet,” starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson. “Tenet” was originally set to premiere on July 17, 2020, was postponed to July 31, 2020, and will now premiere on August 12, 2020. (Updated June 26, 2020)

“The Third Day”

HBO has postponed the TV premiere of the limited drama series “The Third Day,” starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris. “The Third Day” was originally set to premiere on May 11, 2020, and will now premiere in the fall of 2020, on a date to be announced. (Updated April 3, 2020)

“Thor: Love and Thunder”

Disney’s Marvel Studios has postponed and rescheduled the release of the superhero movie “Thor: Love and Thunder,” starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. “Thor: Love and Thunder” was originally scheduled for release on November 5, 2021. The new release date is February 8, 2022. (Updated April 3, 2020)

“Tom & Jerry”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the animated film “Tom & Jerry,” starring the voices of Chloë Grace Moretz Michael Peña Ken Jeong and Rob Delaney. The film was originally due out on December 23, 2020, and is now set for release on March 5, 2021. (Updated June 11, 2020)

Tomorrowland 

The annual electronic-music festival Tomorrowland in Alpe d’Huez, France, has been cancelled. The event had been scheduled for March 14 to March 21, 2020.

“Tomorrow War”

Paramount Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of this sci-fi/fantasy film, starring Chris Pratt, which was originally scheduled to be released December 25, 2020.  (Updated April 2, 2020)

Tony Awards

The Tony Awards, an annual ceremony in New York City for Broadway shows, has been postponed until further notice. The ceremony (which is telecast in the U.S. by CBS) had originally been scheduled for June 7, 2020. The nominees and host have not been announced yet. (Updated March 25, 2020)

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Paramount Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of this action sequel, starring Tom Cruise, which was originally scheduled to be released June 24, 2020. The movie’s new release date is now December 23, 2020. (Updated April 2, 2020)

Toronto Comic Arts Festival

The annual comic-book convention has been cancelled. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival had been scheduled for May 8 to May 10, 2020. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Treefort Music Fest

The annual festival in Boise, Idaho, for emerging talent has been postponed. Treefort Music Fest had originally been scheduled to take place from March 25 to 29, 2020, and will now take place from September 23 to September 27, 2020. (Updated March 12, 2020)

Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival in New York City has been postponed and turned into a semi-open virtual event, with industry people and the media being able to access certain films online from April 15 to May 15, 2020. The annual event had been scheduled for April 15 to April 26, 2020. Winners of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival’s jury awards were announced on April 29, 2020. (Updated April 29, 2020)

“The Truth”

IFC Films has postponed the U.S. release of this French drama, starring Catherine Denueve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke. Originally scheduled for a U.S. release on March 20, 2020, the new U.S. release date for “The Truth” is on July 3, 2020. The movie was already released in France and in Japan in 2019. (Updated June 20, 2020.)

TV Network Upfront Presentations

TV networks’ annual upfront presentations for advertisers take place in New York City, mostly in April and May. In 2020, all of these events have now been cancelled or switched to being online presentations only. (Updated March 15, 2020)

TV Shows With Live Audiences

Almost all nationally televised series that are known to have live audiences have announced that they will continue without live audiences or they are temporarily shutting down production. These include talk shows, game shows, talent shows and variety shows. Some of these shows have already taped episodes with audiences, before bans on large gatherings went into effect. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Ultra Music Festival

The annual electronica-dance music event in Miami has been cancelled and will return in 2021. Ultra Music Festival had been scheduled to take place March 20 to March 22, 2020. Performers at the 2020 Ultra Music Festival would have included David Guetta, DJ Snake, Major Lazer, Above & Beyond, Afrojack and Martin Garrix.

“Uncharted”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this video-game-based movie. “Uncharted,” starring Tom Holland and Bryan Cranston, was due out in cinemas on March 5, 2021, and has been rescheduled to open on October 8, 2021. (Updated March 30, 2020)

Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood will be closed until further notice, as of March 14, 2020. Universal Studios in Florida will be closed until further notice, as of March 16, 2020.  (Updated April 1, 2020)

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage”

Sony’s Columbia Pictures has postponed and rescheduled the release of the sequel “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” starring Tom Hardy. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was originally scheduled to be released on October 2, 2020, and will now be released on June 25, 2021. (Updated April 21, 2020)

 VidCon

VidCon, the annual networking event for video-based media influencers, has postponed all of its conferences. The flagship VidCon in Anaheim, California, was supposed to take place from June 17 to June 20, 2020, but the event will be rescheduled on dates to be announced. The inaugural VidCon Mexico in Mexico City was scheduled for April 30 to May 3, 2020, and has been rescheduled for September 17 to September 20, 2020. The inaugural VidCon Abu Dhabi was scheduled for March 25 to March 28, 2020, and has been rescheduled for December 16 to December 19, 2020. (Updated March 23, 2020)

Wango Tango

The annual star-studded music concert, hosted by Los Angeles pop radio station KIIS-FM, has been cancelled. The show was set for June 5, 2020, in Carson, California. The 2020 Wango Tango lineup included headliner Harry Styles. (Updated March 24, 2020)

Webby Awards

The annual award show in New York City honoring World Wide Web content and creators has been postponed until further notice and will be changed from an in-person event to an online event. The original date for this year’s Webby Awards was May 11, 2020. (Updated March 19, 2020)

Welcome to Rockville

Concert promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has cancelled the annual Welcome to Rockville festival, which was scheduled to take in place in Daytona Beach, Florida, from May 8 to May 10, 2020. The lineup of performers included Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Godsmack, Deftones,Social Distortion, The Offspring, Staind, Lamb of God, Rancid.  Many of the artists who were scheduled to perform at the festival were going to perform at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky (another Danny Wimmer Presents event), which has expanded to four days (September 17 to September 20, 2020), with Metallica headlining on September 17. However, the 2020 edition of Louder Than Life has now also been cancelled(Updated April 24, 2020)

WhedonCon

The annual convention in Los Angeles celebrating the work of writer/director Joss Whedon (who’s best known for the first two “Avengers” movies and the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV series) has been postponed and rescheduled. WhedonCon was originally scheduled for June 5 to June 7, 2020, but is now taking place October 30 to November 1, 2020 (Updated March 22, 2020)

“Wicked”

Universal Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of this movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical. “Wicked,” starring Katie Rose Clark and Jessica Vosk, had originally been set for release on December 22, 2021. (Updated April 1, 2020)

Winter Music Conference

The annual convention in Miami for electronica-dance music was scheduled to take place March 16 to March 19, 2020, but has been postponed and will be rescheduled on dates to be announced.

“The Witches”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed until further notice the animated film “The Witches,” starring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer. “The Witches” was originally set to premiere on October 9, 2020. (Updated June 11, 2020)

“The Wolf House”

Independent movie distributor KimStim has postponed and rescheduled the U.S. release of this Chilean animated film, which tells the story of Colonia Dignidad, a German émigré-run colony in post-WWII Chile that was revealed to have been used to imprison, torture and murder dissidents during the Pinochet regime. “The Wolf House” is now set for release in virtual cinemas on May 15, 2020. The movie was originally scheduled for release in New York City on March 20, 2020, and in Los Angeles on March 27, 2020.  (Updated May 1, 2020.)

WOMAD Festival

The annual World of Music and Dance (WOMAD) Festival in Wiltshire, England, has been cancelled. The festival (founded by Peter Gabriel) was scheduled for July 23 to July 26, 2020. Artists on the festival bill included the Flaming Lips, Angélique Kidjo, Kate Tempest and Fatoumata Diawara. (Updated June 8, 2020)

“The Woman in the Window”

20th Century Pictures has postponed until further notice the release of the thriller “The Woman in the Window,” originally set for April 18, 2020. The movie stars Amy Adams. (Updated March 17, 2020)

WonderCon

The annual comic-book/sci-fi/fantasy entertainment fan convention in Anaheim, California, has been cancelled. WonderCon had been set for April 10 to April 12, 2020. The event will return on March 26 to March 28, 2021. (Updated April 17, 2020)

“Wonder Woman 1984”

Warner Bros. Pictures has postponed and rescheduled this superhero sequel, starring Gal Gadot. “Wonder Woman 1984” was originally set for June 5, 2020, then rescheduled for August 14, 2020, but will now be released on October 2, 2020. (Updated June 11, 2020)

YouTube

The London edition of YouTube on Stage, an event to showcase YouTube talent, was cancelled just hours before the event was supposed to happen on March 11, 2020. In addition, YouTube has switched its annual Brandcast marketing presentation (set for April 30, 2020) to be an online event instead of an in-person event. (Updated March 16, 2020)

Review: ‘Skyman,’ starring Michael Selle, Nicolette Sweeney and Faleolo Alailima

June 30, 2020

by Carla Hay

Michael Selle in “Skyman” (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)

“Skyman”

Directed by Daniel Myrick

Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in California, the sci-fi drama “Skyman” features a nearly all-white cast (with a few Asian characters) representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash: A man is a social outcast in his community because he believes in UFOs and outer-space aliens, and he plans to celebrate his 40th birthday by trying to reunite with an alien that he says he saw when he was 10 years old.

Culture Audience: “Skyman” will appeal primarily to people who have the patience to sit through a very boring sci-fi movie where not much happens until the last 10 minutes of the film.

Michael Selle in “Skyman” (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)

If you’re type of person who hates movies where people keep talking about what they’re going to do and they take a long time before they actually follow through with it, then you’re really going to despise the sci-fi drama “Skyman.” It’s a movie that’s stuck on an irritating and boring repeat loop of the main character preparing and talking about something that doesn’t happen until the last 10 minutes of this 92-minute snoozefest.

“Skyman” was written and directed by Daniel Myrick, who is best known for the 1999 horror flick “The Blair Witch Project,” which was his first feature film and a big sleeper hit. “The Blair Witch Project” has been credited with starting the “found footage” trend that has been over-used in many horror films since then. Although “The Blair Witch Project” got some criticism for being an overly talkative movie with a very flimsy premise, most people would agree that “The Blair Witch Project” did have some moments of genuine suspense.

Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no suspense in “Skyman,” which telegraphs the very predictable ending so early in the story that by the time the ending happens, it’s anticlimactic and there are no real surprises. Instead of having a “found footage” format, “Skyman” has a faux documentary format: What we’re seeing is supposed to look like a documentary, but it’s actually all scripted with actors. The story in “Skyman” is supposed to take place in 2017.

There’s so much filler in “Skyman” that it really should have been a short film instead. One of the many unnecessary scenes in “Skyman” is the opening scene, which has a “talking head” interview with Cecil. H. Crawford, Ph.D. (played by Craig Downing), who works in psychology at the University of Washington. Dr. Crawford is speaking outside what looks like the university campus, and he’s talking about people who believe in UFOs and outer-space aliens.

“Typically, there’s a specific, socioeconomic profile that tends to make them more vulnerable to believing in the idea,” says Dr. Crawford. “They’re good people. They may be a little bit lost and looking for something that science can’t provide.” The movie then shows a montage of 1980s-era home videos of a family who lives in a desert area. The father and two sons are featured prominently in this home-video footage.

Who is this family? They are the Merryweather family, and they’ve been living in the desert town of Apple Valley, California, for about 35 years. Something happened to the Merryweathers about 30 years ago that permanently changed their lives: When their son Carl (played by Michael Selle) was 10 years old in 1987, he and some other people in the area saw a UFO. In addition, Carl claims that he also had an encounter with a space alien that day.

The sighting of the UFO (which Carl describes as a “black triangle) and the space alien made the news, and Carl was interviewed on local TV about it. But all the publicity caused Carl to be ridiculed as crazy by most people in the community, and he’s been a socially awkward outcast ever since. However, about 30 years after the sighting, a documentary filmmaker (played by Myrick, who is mostly heard off-camera and briefly seen on camera) has taken an interest in Carl and wants to chronicle Carl’s quest to reunite with the alien on Carl’s 40th birthday. And guess what Carl  has nicknamed this creature? Skyman.

As an example of this movie’s lazy screenwriting, it’s never explained in the movie how Carl, who has been living in obscurity, got a documentary filmmaker to do a movie about him, considering that are many other people in the world who’ve claimed to have had encounters with space aliens. Did Carl contact the filmmaker, or did the filmmaker contact him? Although it’s a minor detail, it would also put into context how much of a publicity seeker Carl is or not.

Carl has such a plodding demeanor and banal personality that any good documentarian would be able to see within 20 minutes of spending time with him that he would not make an interesting subject for a documentary. And because he’s a loner, the documentary largely hinges on his character and what he does with his life. In the larger context of “Skyman,” making such an uninteresting and often pathetic character the center of this movie can only be blamed on writer/director Myrick. At least “The Blair Witch Project” had an ensemble of distinct personalities trying to solve a mystery that helped make the movie’s story intriguing.

Carl and his divorced sister Gina Campbell (played by Nicolette Sweeney), who do not have children, sit down for an interview together early in this “documentary” to talk about their family history. The Merryweather family, which includes their older bother Kenny, moved to Apple Valley when Carl was 5. Their father (whose name is never mentioned in the movie) was a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, and he died of a heart attack in 2010. Carl and Gina’s mother Denise lives in a nursing home, where Gina works full-time. Gina is also a student working on getting her nursing degree.

Carl and Gina’s older brother Kenny lives in Alaska and is estranged from the family. Kenny and Carl have a long history of not getting along with each other. When they were kids, Kenny would often bully Carl. What does Kenny have to do with the story? Absolutely nothing. He’s only mentioned as an example of someone who was mean-spirited to Carl, in order to make Carl look sympathetic to viewers.

According to interviews with some of the locals, Carl is known to be an eccentric who likes tinkering with items and fixing things. Carl is described as intelligent when it comes to this type of work, but he’s had a hard time holding a steady job. It’s implied that Carl has a pattern of getting fired because when he’s at work, he can’t help but start babbling about his UFO conspiracy theories. He seems to earn some money by doing independent contractor repair jobs for people here and there.

Anyone who wants to slog through the tedious sludge that is most of this movie’s content should be warned that most of the “documentary” footage looks like outtakes from very mundane family home videos. There’s a scene of Carl giving a tour of his very cluttered “pack rat” home, where he has a large collection of UFO-related books and magazines.

He also shows some of his hand-drawn illustrations of the space alien that he encountered. (It looks like a tall creature with a typical aesthetic that’s been seen in other sci-fi movies about space aliens.) As part of his “sightings” collection, Carl keeps a hand-written book of contact information for everyone he knows about who has claimed to have encountered UFOs or space aliens. There is no subtlety in this movie. Carl is obsessed.

Carl also gives a tour of the Merryweather family’s abandoned high ground house (HGH), which is essentially a large trailer located way out in a remote part of the desert. Carl says that he considers himself to be a doomsday prepper, but he insists that he isn’t crazy. Carl’s father had the family live in the HGH for a good deal of the siblings’ childhood. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Carl reveals that his father had a UFO encounter while on Air Force duty with two other colleagues, but his father and Air Force co-workers didn’t report it because they didn’t want to be accused of having “battle fatigue.”

There’s a long stretch of the movie where the “documentary” follows Carl during his first time attending two UFO Festivals: one in McMinnville, Oregon, and one in Roswell, New Mexico. These events are essentially Comic-Cons for UFO enthusiasts. These UFO Festival scenes, if they had been written better, would have made “Skyman” a slightly interesting film, but Myrick wastes this opportunity by making these festival scenes as lackluster as the scenes of Carl back at home.

This is Carl’s reaction to experiencing these festivals: “I’ve never needed validation …  but it’s nice to know that I’m not as alone in how I feel.” In fact, Carl keeps repeating a variation of “I know what I saw was real” when talking about his UFO/space alien experience, and he says it so many times, that it could easily become a drinking game for this movie.

Even the family tension in the movie is downright dull. Carl’s mother Denise (played by Patricia Lentz) doesn’t approve of his obsession over UFOs and space aliens, but there’s not much she can do about it. When he visits her in the nursing home, all she does is mildly scold him when she finds out what he plans to do for his 40th birthday.

Meanwhile, Gina is feeling the pressure of trying to hold the family together, and she’s carrying most of the financial weight to take care of the siblings’ ailing mother. In a separate interview, away from Carl, she confesses that she feels alone because she doesn’t really have a support system. She breaks down and cries when she says about Carl: “I can’t rely on him.”

Gina is semi-skeptical about the existence of UFOs, but Carl convinces her to go with him to the family’s desert HGH on his 40th birthday. Also along for the trip is Marcus Florio (played by Faleolo Alailima), who’s known the siblings since they were in high school together. As Carl says in the movie about Marcus: “He’s one of the only people in town that doesn’t think I’m crazy.”

Marcus works at a local hardware store, where Carl buys some magnet equipment to test any electromagnetic forces that might change due to an alien’s presence. For the trip to the desert HGH, Carl also brings a small, handmade satellite dish that looks like it belongs in a junkyard. You don’t have to be a genius to see that Carl is desperate to make contact with the alien.

There are very few movies where you can watch the first 10 minutes, then skip to the last 10 minutes, and find out everything you need to know about the story. But “Skyman” is one of those films. And one of the many flaws of this disappointing movie is that it doesn’t stay consistent with the faux documentary format.

In some scenes, the movie looks like raw documentary footage with no musical score. In other scenes, it looks like a scripted drama, including the addition of a musical score that’s supposed to reflect the mood of the scene. (Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan is one of the film’s three musical composers for the sparse “Skyman” score. The other two music composers are Don Miggs and Greg Hansen.)

The acting is mediocre, and there are a few scenes where even the actors break from a naturalistic style to a more affected “it looks like we’re reading a script” style. Since Carl is the focus of the film, Selle (who makes his feature-film debut in “Skyman”) does an adequate job in the role. The acting isn’t the biggest problem with “Skyman.” It’s the very thinly constructed and monotonous screenplay, as well as the unimaginative direction, that make “Skyman” the very definition of a movie that’s overly padded to disguise that there is no real substance to this film.

While Carl, Gina and Marcus wait in the desert for a possible encounter with the Sykman alien, Carl utters, “I hope that this hasn’t been a big waste of time.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly how people will feel while watching “Skyman.”

Gravitas Ventures released “Skyman” in select U.S. drive-in theaters on June 30, 2020. The movie’s digital/VOD release date is on July 7, 2020.

Review: ‘Desolation Center,’ starring Stuart Swezey, Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, Einstürzende Neubauten, Red Kross, Perry Farrell and Mark Pauline

June 30, 2020

by Carla Hay

Einstürzende Neubauten in “Desolation Center” (Photo courtesy of Passion River Films)

“Desolation Center”

Directed by Stuart Swezey

Culture Representation: Taking place in various locations in Southern California, the music documentary “Desolation Center” interviews a racially diverse group of people (white, African American, Latino and Asian) talking about the notable 1980s rock concerts promoted by the independent team Desolation Center, with commentaries from artists, fans and behind-the-scenes industry people. 

Culture Clash: Desolation Center concerts, which rejected anything that was corporate, often operated outside the law by not filing permits and by being held in unconventional places.

Culture Audience: “Desolation Center” will appeal primarily to people interested in the non-mainstream Los Angeles rock scene in the 1980s and stories about music festivals.

 

Perry Farrell and Aaron Sherer (both facing camera) in “Desolation Center” (Photo by Mariska Leyssius)

Imagine a well-attended music festival that takes place in the California desert. Event permits weren’t filed, people were transported by school bus to the festival, and most attendees were so excited about going that they didn’t think about bringing sunscreen, water or food. And there wouldn’t be any vendors at the festival to sell anything. This festival obviously isn’t Coachella.

The documentary film “Desolation Center” is a nostalgic and fascinating look at five of the biggest concerts staged by a Los Angeles-based independent promotion team called Desolation Center. In its relatively short existence (1983 to 1986), Desolation Center influenced several festivals that ended up becoming corporate behemoths, including Burning Man, Lollapalooza and Coachella. The five Desolation Center concerts that get the spotlight in the documentary are Mohave Exodus, Mohave Auzug, Joy at Sea, Gila Monster Jamboree and Solstice.

“Desolation Center” director Stuart Swezey, who also appears on camera for his commentary, is the best person to helm this documentary, since he founded Desolation Center and had hands-on involvement in every show presented by the team. His deep history with Desolation Center serves this film well, since it’s packed with a lot of great archival photos and video footage, as well as an extremely well-rounded set of interviews from artists, fans and behind-the-scenes industry people who usually have first-hand accounts of Desolation Center shows.

Artists interviewed include the members of Sonic Youth (except for Kim Gordon), Meat Puppets, Minutemen, Red Kross and Einstürzende Neubauten. Also giving an artist perspective are Perry Farrell (co-founder of Lollapalooza Festival and the band Jane’s Addiction); Aaron Sherer (who was in Psi Com, Farrell’s pre-Jane’s Addicition band); Kurt Schellenbach of Nip Drivers; Suzi Gardner of L7; Michael Gra of Swans; Dan Bolles of the Germs; Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag; Steve Housden of Lawndale; Ian Rakow of Valley Punk; F.M. Einheit; artist Anthony Ausgang; noise musician Boyd Rice; performance artist Ron Athey; poet John Tottenham; and performance artists Mark Pauline and Matt Heckert of Survival Research Laboratories.

Unlike many music documentaries that shun or limit perspectives of non-famous fans, “Desolation Center” gives almost as much screen time to fans as it does the artists. Among the fans who share their fond memories of Desolation Center shows are poet Maw Shein Win; musician Sean DeLear; community organizer Linda Kite; costumer designer Nancy Steiner; Sandy Glaze; Lisa Derrick; Janet Housden; Easter Seals COO Bev Mendes; artist Kristine Kryttre; Bertell Ferguson; Skip King; ML Compton; Mike Guerena; Fourway Cross bandmates Courtney Davies, Steve Gerdes and Tom Dolan; and married couple Joy and Ken Abbott, who’ve been together since the ’80s.

Also giving their insight are Goldenvoice founder Gary Tovar; Burning Man co-founder John Law; indie music operative Carmel Conlin; SST producer Spot; photographer/musician Mariska Leyssius; sound engineer Ed Cirino of Gold Sound; Re/Search Publications editor/publisher V. Vale, music publisher Adam Wolf; and journalists Chris Morris, Simon Reynolds, Joseph Bien-Khan.

“Desolation Center” begins with a contextual backdrop of what was going on in the Los Angeles music scene during the 1980s that laid the groundwork to form Desolation Center. If there’s any villain of this story, it’s Daryl Gates, who was chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1978 to 1992. DeLear calls Gates “rotten” and “creepy” in the documentary.

And several people who comment in the film, including Swezey, describe the LAPD under Gates’ leadership as an oppressive force that targeted punk rock musicians and fans for harassment and arrests. Bolles says, “The LAPD freaked out about punk rock, like it was the second coming of the Black Panthers.”

Therefore, nightclubs and bars in Los Angeles that booked punk artists frequently had those shows shut down or heavily enforced by the LAPD. Meat Puppets lead singer/guitarist Curt Kirkwood adds, “It seems like they [the LAPD] were going through the newspaper and finding bands that sounded punk rock and making sure they didn’t happen.” Performance artist Athey comments on Los Angeles: “I grew up here. I wasn’t enlightened that you could live in a non-police state, so you figured out how to skirt around it.”

The good news is that in the early 1980s, the alternative/underground music scene was very diverse, in terms of race, gender, sexuality and economic backgrounds. Kite, who was the fiancée of Minutemen singer/guitarist D. Boone, comments on the Los Angeles punk/underground music scene during this era: “There was just as much people of color in it as there were white kids. Bands were multicultural, as well as the scene was multicultural.”

This diversity was in stark contrast to Los Angeles’ heavy metal scene and classic rock scene, which pretty much excluded musicians who weren’t straight white males. Another big difference between the punk scene and communities for other rock genres was that punk was all about rejecting conformity and corporate greed.

Swezey comments in the documentary: “In the early ’80s, I think the rest of the world saw L.A. as this brain-dead, sun baked, smoggy sprawl—which it kind of was. For those of us who grew up here, the early ’80s was actually a really vital and interesting time.”

Before Swezey founded Desolation Center, he was a 21-year-old college dropout doing phone sales for a municipal broker in 1982. Although he was a fan of punk music and went to a lot of shows, he wasn’t inspired to become a show promoter until he saw a Throbbing Gristle concert and later met its promoter Michael Sheppard. Swezey says of that fateful Throbbing Gristle show: “Their sonic assault changed the way I thought of music and performance forever.”

He took the plunge to form Desolation Center in 1983, as an independent collective to promote “alternative” rock and performance artists. At the time, Swezey was living in a very seedy and run-down part of downtown Los Angeles. He says he came up with the name Desolation Center “because that’s how I was feeling about my environment at the time.”

Desolation Center was born out of nonconformity, not just because of punk ideals but also out of financial necessity. The tiny start-up didn’t have the budget to book artists at established nightclubs and advertise those types of shows. Therefore, Swezey and Desolation Center had the great idea to do the opposite of what most concert promoters were doing.

Desolation Center booked shows in abandoned warehouses and other under-the-radar places. The shows also didn’t follow industry norms: Guests lists weren’t allowed, everyone had to pay to get inside, and the shows didn’t sell alcohol (which would get the attention of the police), but people of legal drinking age were allowed to bring their own alcohol. Desolation Center also didn’t advertise its shows and did not court publicity.

Having these shows in non-traditional venues also allowed Desolation Center to not have to deal with Ticketmaster or city permits to put on these shows. And finding about these shows, not through advertising or media publicity, but through word of mouth, gave Desolation Center a cool, underground reputation with fans. Nowadays, with insurance liabilities being more of a concern for artists and promoters, an outfit like Desolation Center wouldn’t have been able to stay in business for as long as it did.

It wasn’t long before Desolation Center wanted to do something bigger than just a small show in a warehouse, without having to go to a traditional large venue. After taking a road trip through the Sonora Desert in Mexico, Swezey was inspired to have the first Desolation Center festival in the desert. He approached Savage Republic band member Bruce Licher, who came up with the idea to have the show in the Mohave Desert, about three hours east outside of Los Angeles.

That show ended up being a mini-festival called Mohave Exodus, which took place on April 24, 1983, and featured performances by Savage Republic and Minutemen. Licher had access to a printing press, so he was essentially in charge of making the tickets and signage that were used for the show. Farrell says of Licher: “He was like the Benjamin Franklin of our scene.”

Getting to the concert site was unconventional. There was a secret place in downtown L.A. where ticketholders were told to meet. From there, rented school buses took them to the remote area in the desert. Many of the fans were completely unaware of how hot the desert heat would be and were decked out in full-on heavy punk gear.

Kryttre, an artist who attended the event, remembers how driving to the concert site was a challenge because some of truck stop managers would lock their restrooms when they saw all the “alternative”-looking young people coming out of the buses to use the restrooms. The way these fans looked back then wouldn’t be considered a big deal today, but it was a big deal back then.

The concert was so bare-bones and do-it-yourself that nothing was set up in the middle of the desert except for the band’s equipment and sound system. There was no stage separating the band from the audience. Most concertgoers had to sit on the hard desert ground, although some people thought of bringing lawn chairs. And forget about places to eat, drink and use toilets at the concert site. There weren’t any.

And they weren’t prepared for the forceful desert winds in the area. Sound engineer Cirino remembers that socks had to be put on microphones, and the buses had to be parked behind the bands to form a wall that would be a wind barrier. It was about as unglamorous and uncomfortable as you can imagine. But looking back on it, the concertgoers and band members interviewed in the documentary say they loved the experience.

Win comments, “I felt we were these young people creating this great, alternative world for ourselves out in the desert.” Guerena says, “There was no violence, no weirdness. It was like everybody was in this one cool group.” Joy Abbott adds, “I just remember thinking, ‘This is one of the coolest things I’ll ever do in my whole life.'”

After the Mohave Exodus show, Swezey quit his day job and went backpacking around Europe. While he was in West Berlin, he saw German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten perform for the first time and was completely awed by the experience. It was around this time that Swezey saw director Werner Herzog’s epic 1982 movie “Fitzcarraldo,” which also gave Swezey the idea for the next big Desolation Center festival.

In “Fitzcarraldo,” a European opera fan becomes obsessed with building an opera house in the Peruvian jungle. Swezey explains how Einstürzende Neubauten and “Fiztcarraldo” inspired him: Instead of bringing opera to the jungle, he wanted to bring industrial music to the desert.

And that led to the Desolation Center show Mohave Auzug, held in Mecca, California, on March 4, 1984. Einstürzende Neubauten headlined the show, which was more elaborate—and crazier and more dangerous—than Mohave Exodus. A pacifist percussion group Djemaa-El-Fna greeted concertgoers as they arrived.

But that peaceful atmosphere was quickly destroyed by Survival Research Laboratories, a rebellious group of performance artists (whose most famous member is Mark Pauline), who loved to literally blow things up. And the desert was their playground at the show, as they set off explosives in a cave, as well as other places outside, despite the objections of Djemaa-El-Fna and some concertgoers.

Luckily, no one was hurt at Mohave Auzug by these explosions. Pauline and the rest of the anarchists look back with no regrets and say the explosions were all in the name of fun and performance art. Lawndale band member Housden remembers that at this industrial-oriented concert, power tools were used as musical instruments and other playthings: “They were giving a hard time to our dad’s power tools … They ruined them.”

With two well-received desert concerts under his belt, Swezey decided that the next big Desolation Center concert would be at an opposite location: on the water. The Joy at Sea concert was held in the San Pedro Harbor in California, on June 15, 1984. The headliners were San Pedro hometown band Minutemen and Arizona-based band Meat Puppets. Meat Puppets bass player Cris Kirkwood says of the experience: “It was one  of the highlights of my musical career in a lot of ways—just magical as crap.”

Then, it was back to the California desert. Gila Monster Jamboree was Desolation Center’s biggest event yet, and is probably considered the most important one for Desolation Center. Taking place on January 5, 1985, the bill included Sonic Youth (in the New York City band’s West Coast debut), Meat Puppets, Red Kross and Psi Com, which was Farrell’s band before he formed Jane’s Addiction.

In the documentary, Farrell admits that Psi Com got the gig because he was Swezey’s roommate at the time. “It was really cool, so I thank you for that,” Farrell says. Meat Puppets frontman Curt Kirkwood remembers that everybody at the concert seemed to be in a good mood because most people were flying high on LSD. Montgomery, one of the fans at the concert, says: “There were very few people who weren’t tripping.”

Unlike previous Desolation Center concerts in the desert, where the concertgoers could only get there by Desolation Center’s provided buses, Gila Monster Jamboree gave concertgoers the option to take their own transportation to the concert site, although bus transportation was still provided for those who wanted it. There were was still none of the commercial trappings (merchandise booths and food vendors), sanitary facilities, or safety precautions that are presumed for today’s music festivals. Because, just like other Desolation Center concerts, the promoters didn’t have a permit to hold the event.

Steve and Jeff McDonald, the brothers who co-founded Red Kross, remember the nerve-racking experience of having a driver who got lost for hours, making the band very late for the concert. Red Kross was the first “glam rock” band to perform at a Desolation Center festival. And ironically, the band was so late, the members of Red Kross didn’t have time to change into their glammed-up stage clothes and instead performed in jeans and sweatpants, which was outside their comfort zone for their stage wardrobe.

Desolation Center’s permit-avoiding ways eventually caught up to the team, which was fined $400 for the Gila Monster Jamboree show. Swezey says that $400 was a lot of money to them at the time. So, in true D.I.Y. fashion, Desolation Center held a Trespass Benefit show to raise funds to pay off the fine. Minutemen and Nip Drivers performed at the fundraising concert, which was held at the Anti Club on Augusts 4, 1985.

Desolation Center’s last big hurrah was the Solstice concert on December 21, 1985. Sonic Youth and Swans topped the bill for the show, which had the unusual distinction of being partially funded by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). Swezey says that a friend who received NEA grant money approached him to do the show.

But tragedy struck on December 22, 1985, when Minutemen lead singer D. Boone was killed in a car accident that injured his fiancée Kite and permanently disabled Kite’s sister. It was an end of an era. Swezey says in the documentary that Boone’s death and the stricter laws being enforced for concert promotion led to the decision to say goodbye to Desolation Center and move on to other things. Swezey then founded Amok Books, an alternative publishing company.

“Desolation Center” isn’t just for people who remember what it was like to be a fan of alternative music in the early ’80s. It’s the type of documentary that people of many generations can enjoy if they like the bands in the film and if they want to get a meaningful historical time capsule of a specific subculture of the Los Angeles music scene in the early-to-mid-1980s.

It might also make people wistful for a bygone era when people went to concerts and festivals and lived in the moment, instead of worrying about how things were going to look on social media. Remarkably, no one was killed or maimed at a Desolation Center concert, which is in stark contrast to all the concerts that have happened since the ’80s that have experienced mass shootings, bombings and other weapons of war against innocent concertgoers.

Desolation Center wasn’t exactly about “peace and love” all the time, but one of its greatest legacies that’s been largely abandoned by most big concert promoters is that the shows embraced people from all sorts of backgrounds, by not excluding people through ticket prices that are too high for certain people’s budgets. Those days might be long gone for music festivals, but this documentary is a significant reminder of how it was possible back in the ’80s and how well it worked.

Passion River Films released “Desolation Center” on digital, VOD and DVD on June 23, 2020.

Carl Reiner dead at 98; comedic icon was father to actor/filmmaker Rob Reiner

June 30, 2020

by Jeffrey Peterson

On June 29, 2020, Carl Reiner, the comedic actor, writer,  producer and director who created and co-starred in the CBS comedy series “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” died of natural causes in his home in Beverly Hills, California. He was 98. His assistant Judy Nagy confirmed the death, which was first reported by TMZ, according to the Associated Press.

“The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which was on the air from 1961 to 1966, starred Dick Van Dyke as a TV writer and Mary Tyler Moore as his wife. The comedy series was inspired by Reiner’s real-life experiences working on Sid Caesar’s comedy series “Caesar’s Hour” from 1954 to 1957. Later in his career, Reiner was a frequent collaborator with Mel Brooks and Steve Martin.

In addition to acting in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and numerous other TV shows, Reiner co-starred several movies, including 1963’s “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” 1966’s “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and 1978’s “The Jerk.” His last film role was as the voice of Carl Reineroceros in 2019’s Oscar-winning animated film “Toy Story 4.”

He was directed several movies, including 1979’s “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” 1978’s “The Jerk” and 1977’s “Oh, God!” The last movie that Carl Reiner directed was 1997’s “That Old Feeling,” starring Bette Midler and Dennis Farina.

Carl Reiner was the father of Rob Reiner, who started out as an actor (best known for his co-starring role in “All in the Family”), but Rob eventually became a director too. Rob Reiner’s directorial film credits include 1984’s “This Is Spinal Tap,” 1987’s “The Princess Bride,” 1989’s “When Harry Met Sally,” 1990’s Misery” and 1992’s “A Few Good Men.”

Carl Reiner and is wife Estelle were married from 1943 until she died in 2008.. Car Reiner is survived by his children Rob, Lucas (who is a film director) and Sylvia, who is a psychoanalyst and author.